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It seems as though for every day
closer to spring we get, the pres
sure is slowly rising to a crescendo
that will ultimately result in the
very special week we all know as
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. Earlier
in March I was in Oshkosh for five
days of B-1? tour training, and I
took the opportunity see firsthand
the continuing development of
the AirVenture convention site.
Even though Oshkosh has ex
perienced what I would categorize
as a pretty mean winter this year,
an amazing amount of progress
can be seen all over the conven
tion grounds. Just this week we re
ceived word that the walls for the
all-new Vintage Hangar have been
prefabbed and are now in the
process of being installed on the
footers. If we get a break with the
weather, the shingles should be
installed on the building by the
time you read this column. This is
an exciting time for both EAA and
the Vintage Aircraft Association
(VAA), and we sincerely hope you
can find the time to visit with us
at this year's event.
Speaking of rising pressures, I
know we are all pretty much on
pins and needles over The Trans
portation Security Administra
tion's (TSA's) developing Large
Aircraft Security Program CLASP).
I have already heard a few stories
about how some fixed base oper
ators are already reacting to this
developing and, as yet, unimple
mented program.
Again, EAA has got its response
to this one absolutely right. There

really is only one clear and con

cise response to these proposed
new rules. In its response, EAA
writes: "This rule is a direct threat
to our personal liberties .... Our
very right to operate our personal
flying machines whenever we de
cide is being clearly threatened by
these rules."

Just this week we

received word that the
walls for the all-new
Vintage Hangar have
been prefabbed and
are now in the process
of being installed on
the footers. If we get a
break with the weather,
the shingles should be
installed on the
building by the time you
read this column.
In our response, we echoed that
sentiment in comments the VAA
submitted objecting to the TSA's
LASP: IIWe urge this entire proposal
as written be scrapped, and the TSA

work with the industry to continue to

build on the enhanced security mea
sures currently in place at airports
across this great nation . To impose
these onerous and overreaching reg
ulations on general aviation would
likely be a blow to the industry that
could very well be fatal. Such an out
come would be counter to the spirit
and intent of [president Obama's] re
cent message. As a nation, we must
do our best to encourage and sustain
our values and rights. 'Those ide

als still light the world, and

we will not give them up for
expediency's sake.'''
Only recently we have begun
to hear of more individuals inside
"the Beltway" speaking out on
their attitude about these rules.
Two key phrases seem to be echoed
by these key folks in government
who have chosen to speak out.
1. General aviation has not
been proven to be any real threat
to our country's security.
2. This proposed policy is over
bearing, and a clear abuse of power.
We'll continue to monitor the
situation with the proposed rule,
and we urge you to continue to
visit for more infor
mation. Be sure to sign up for EAA's
E-Hotline while you're there!
Now we hear that the same old
proponents of user fees on gen
eral aviation are again attempting
to establish a foothold in the new
Congress as well as the new admin
istration. This, after the U.S. House
of Representatives' Transporta
tion and Infrastructure Commitcontinued on page 38

VOL. 37, No.4



I Fe

Straight & Level

by Geoff Robison


An Eye-Catching Ryan

An international delight

by Gilles Auliard


Airmail Days

Magical moments of yesteryear . . . The 90th anniversary

of scheduled airmail in the United States

by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Light Plane Heritage

Uncle Bob's Midwing Midway

Part I

by Bob Wh ittier


The Vintage Mechanic

Critical inspection items

by Robert G. Lock


The Vintage Instructor

Soft-field techniques

by Doug Stewart


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy


Tom Poberezny

Director of EAA Publications

Mary Jones
H.G. Frau tschy

Executive Director/Edi tor

Production /Special Pro ject

Kathleen Witman


Jim Koepn ick

Bonnie Kratz

Adverti si ng Coordinator

Sue An derson

Classified Ad Coordinator
Copy Editor

Lesl ey Poberezny
Colleen Wal sh

Director of Advertising

Ka trina Bradshaw

An Ethanol Test Kit

Making certain your fuel isn't tainted with alcohol
by Irven F. Palmer Jr.


EAA Publisher

Classified Ads

Display Advertising Representat ives:

Specialized Publications Co.
U.S. Eastern Time Zone-Northeast: Ken Ross
609-822-3750 Fax: 609957-5650

FRONT COVER: With the U.S. Army expanding rapidly in the years just before World War

U.S. Eastern Time ZoneSoutheast: Chester Baumgartner

7275324640 Fax: 727-532-4630
U.S. Central Time Zone: Gary Worden
800-4449932 Fax: 816-741 -6458

II , a big market for military trainers opened up. Ryan Aeronautical Corporation responded
with the Ryan STM. Many were exported, including th is aircraft destined for the Dutch Ma

rine Luchtvaart Dienst in Java. Gilles Auliard tells the story of owner Gary Kozak's resto

9167849593 Fax: 510-217-3796

ration of this rare aircraft, starting on page 6. Gi lles Auliard photo .

BACK COVER: Sparky Barnes Sargent captured Jay Pemberton as he flew the airmail in his

father's 1931 Stearman 4DM from Antique Airfield to Ottumwa , Iowa, and back during Airmail
days celebrated during the 2008 AAA invitational fly-in. See the story starting on page 14.

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

Europe: Willi Tacke

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



LASP: The Next Steps

Working toward a
'reasonable' approach

February 27, 2009, signaled the

end to the comment period for the
Transportation Security Administra
tion's (TSA's) Large Aircraft Security
Program (LASP), but not to the in
dustrywide effort opposing the TSA
plan. More than 4,200 comments
were submitted to the docket.
EAA continues to work closely
with TSA and Department of Home
land Security (DHS) officials toward a
more reasonable approach to general
aviation security through the use of
a negotiated rulemaking committee.
EAA is also meeting with members of
Congress on the proposal, including
an invitation to attend a roundtable
discussion in March hosted by House
Aviation Subcommittee Chairman
Rep. Jerry Costello (D-Illinois), to
further press the issue.
Comments to the docket include
letters opposing the LASP from con
gressional representatives Tom Pe
tri (R-Wisconsin) and Sam Graves
Petri is the ranking member of
the House Aviation Subcommittee
and also represents Wisconsin's 6th
District, which includes Oshkosh
and EAA headquarters. In a letter
addressed to DHS Secretary Janet
Napolitano, he writes, " ... the TSA's
actions related to the proposed LASP
are extreme and unnecessary .... The
TSA has lost sight of the important
balance between security and the
free flow of commerce." Petri also
called the proposal an enormous
invasion into the private lives and
affairs of citizens of a free country."
Graves, also a member of the
House Aviation Subcommittee, rep
resents Missouri's 6th District. In
his 23-page letter to Erik Jensen,
TSA's chief of policy, plans, and
stakeholder affairs for general avia
tion, Graves warned that if the TSA
stayed on its current path and disre
garded the near unanimous opposiII

APRIL 2009

EAAlFAA Summit Addresses Issues

Throughout the year, EAA's advocacy team meets with government offi
cials in Washington, D.C., in state capitals, and in local municipalities, rep
resenting EAA members' interests and concerns. They also meet twice each
year in Oshkosh-during AirVenture and also in the winter, when FAA leaders
travel to EAA headquarters for two days of face-to-face meetings to identify
issues and ensure that previous action plans, objectives, and benchmarks
are being fulfilled.
Several top FAA officials were in Oshkosh February 23-24. Front-and-cen
ter issues included amateur-built aircraft and the 51 percent rule, vintage
and aging aircraft, flight safety, sport pilot/light-sport aircraft, the future of
aviation fuels, aerobatic flight, and warbirds.
Participants included EAA headquarters staff and division heads and of
ficials from the FAA's Aircraft Certification and Flight Standards offices. A
FAA/EAA Winter Meeting report was published on pages 102-103 of the
April issue of fAA Sport Aviation.

tion to LASP, it could face legal chal

lenges or congreSSional obstacles to
the program, such as a resolution of
disapproval under the CongreSSiO
nal Review Act.
"Or TSA can heed the advice in
these comments and select a flight
path that will lead to a more rea
soned decision-making process," he
writes. Graves also urged formation
of a negotiated rulemaking com
mittee involving affected groups.
Graves' letter was also signed by Rep.
Nathan Deal (R-Georgia), Rep. Lynn
Westmoreland (R-Georgia), Rep.
John Duncan Jr. (R-Tennessee), Rep.
Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Missouri),
Rep. W. Todd Akin (R-Missouri), and
Rep. Todd Tiahrt (R-Kansas).
EAA encourages its members to
continue contacting their congres

sional representatives seeking their

support of general aviation and
opposition to LASP. Read EAA's of
ficial comments at

User-Fees Language in
Budget Proposal .. . Again
The Obama administration's pro
posed budget includes aviation "di
rect user charges," in other words,
user fees. Page 129 of the White
House budget proposal suggests
user fees to replace some repealed
aviation excise taxes.
It's a notion heard before: Dis
mantle a fuel-tax system that is
already in place and working, and
replace it with a new system of us
er-fee collections requiring more
expensive bureaucracy.

Like some previous user-fees pro

posals, this one specifies, liThe user
charges are considered discretion
ary and offset discretionary budget
authority and outlays." This means
there's no guarantee that proceeds
from these user fees would apply
toward national airspace modern
ization, the aviation trust fund, or
other specicil aviation needs. Rath
er, they would simply offset the
general deficit.
EAA has contended that a user
fees system would draw dispropor
tionately from general aviation to
fund the FAA and air traffic control
operations. EAA's government re
lations staff has maintained a dia
logue with key members of Con
gress and their staff on the user-fees
issue. With this revelation in the
administration's budget proposal,
EAA is accelerating this outreach
work while continuing to forge re
lationships with the new adminis
tration, legislators, and new agency
staff appOintees.
The strength of EAA's 160,000
members is integral to this effort.
Your preparedness to take grassroots
action when called upon is 'a potent
tool in combating this threat.

FAA Funding Bill

Introduced in House
A new FAA funding bill, nearly
identical to the 2007 House version,
was introduced by House Commit
tee on Transportation and Infra
structure Chairman James Oberstar
(D-Minnesota) and House Aviation
Subcommittee Chairman Jerry Cos
tello (D-Illinois). The previous bill
was backed by EAA and most of
general aviation because it retained
the current funding method of fuel
and passenger seat excise taxes and
did not impose user fees.
The Federal Aviation Administra
tion Reauthorization Act of 2009
authorizes nearly $ 70 billion for the
FAA for the next four years (fiscal
years 2009-2012), including $38.9
billion for FAA operations, $16.2
billion for the Airport Improve
ment Program, nearly $13.4 billion
for FAA Facilities and Equipment,

Sun 'n Fun Set to Open the Fly-In Season

It's April, and the 35th Sun 'n Fun Fly-In, April 21-26, at Lakeland Linder
Regional Airport in Lakeland, Florida, is days away. EM will be there, with
special offerings at the EAA Welcome Center, admission discounts, forum
presentations, and more.
If you're planning to attend, please note one major change from past
years at the main admissions gate: There will not be a separate EM area.
Instead, EAA members may enter at the main gate and receive their weekly
or daily member discount by showing a membership card.
Several EAA members and staff will present a variety of forums and work
shops. Subjects include aircraft insurance, sport pilot/light-sport aircraft,
homebuilding (featuring EAA's Joe Norris, EM homebuilders' community
manager), and more. (See a complete forums schedule at www.Sun-N-Fun.
arg.) A special EM chapter event will be announced soon.
See you in Lakeland (and don't forget to bring your EM membership card).

and $1.35 billion for Research, En

gineering, and Development.
The House bill was introduced on
the same day that a letter signed by
associations representing virtually
the entire aviation community was
sent to key members of Congress,
stressing the importance of passing
a comprehensive, long-term FAA re
authorization bill as soon as practi
cal. Also included in this bill are pro
visions allowing for the release of
data related to abandoned type cer
tificates of some vintage aircraft. Pas
sage of this provision will be a first
step in ensuring that critical data
is available for the restoration and
maintenance of vintage airplanes.

AirVenture Site Improvements

Every construction project re
quires a solid foundation incorpo
rating essential systems and utilities

as the starting pOint from which to

expand. The same is true for the
comprehensive, multi-year project
to upgrade the EAA AirVenture Osh
kosh grounds and facilities. Much
of the work accomplished since last
fall has focused on essential under
pinnings: site design and configura
tion; drainage systems; roads and
pathways; electricity, water, com
munications, and other utilities;
and relocations of buildings and
other structures.
Some observers of EAA's work
have wondered how EAA will en
sure that the digging, hauling,
stockpiling, and paving currently
under way will not disrupt the visi
tor experience at AirVenture 2009.
liThe site enhancements that we'll
have made in time for AirVenture
2009 will provide yet another good
reason to come to the event. The

1909 Wright Model 'B' Replica to Fly at Oshkosh

A replica of the Wright brothers ' 1909 Wright "B" Flyer will make its North
American public flying debut during AirVenture 2009. The replica, dubbed the
Silver Bird for its silver-painted frame and white fabric, was built by Dayton ,
Ohio-based Wright B Flyer Inc. It was the Wrights' first production airplane
and helped ignite the air-racing era 100 years ago.
The aircraft is scheduled to begin flight testing in the coming months and
may participate in aviation festivities this summer in Europe before coming
to Oshkosh. One tentative event in Reims, France, would commemorate the
100th anniversary of the Gordon Bennett Cup, often regarded as the first
major air race in history.
"It will truly be a global ambassador for Dayton," says Amanda Wright
Lane, the Wright brothers' great-grandniece and a trustee of Wright B Flyer
Inc. "There is not a single artifact you can hold, or place you can visit, or
document you can read that equals seeing a Wright Flyer in the air. "
Other activities commemorating 100 years of air racing will be held during
EAA AirVenture 2009. These and additional details of the Wright B Flyer's
appearance will be announced as they are finalized.
For more information on the Wright B Flyer replica, visit www.Wright-8

infrastructure changes will be ac

complished, several new amenities
will be introduced, and site naviga
tion, wayfinding, and transporta
tion will be improved," says Steve
Taylor, EAA facilities manager.
"As we move into summer, we'll
suspend heavy construction proj
ects to wrap up, clean up, and ready
the site for members' and visitors'
arrival. Our guests won't have to
navigate around barrels, step over
rubble, or be otherwise inconve
nienced by an 'under construction'
site," he adds.
One of the most visible infrastruc
ture changes is the relocation of the
main gate approximately 400 feet
west of its previous location. This

APRIL 2009

required an extension of the main

aircraft display taxiway and a course
diversion of Forest Home Drive.
From the main gate, two new
thoroughfares will branch out di
agonally, one cutting its way to
the northeast toward the forums
area and the other making its way
to the southeast to a point behind
Hangar D ending at the "Paul's
Woods" neighborhood of Camp
Scholler. These thoroughfares form
a "V" overlaying the site's other
wise north/south and east/west
grid of pathways to offer a more
easily naVigated site. For example,
previously the most efficient route
from the Warbird area to the main
gate entailed a 3/4-mile zigzag

through the grounds. This year,

that same trek will be a 1/4-mile
straight shot.
One major part of this thorough
fare project incorporated storm wa
ter drains so the grounds dry prop
erly. Storing drainage water on
airport grounds is a safety issue be
cause lakes, ponds, and reservoirs
attract waterfowl. Consequently,
site deSigners and engineers looked
underground-turning to state-of
the-art "green" technology-to
create geogrids/geoblocks to ab
sorb and treat runoff water. This
underground reservoir naturally
drains into the groundwater sys
tem, eventually making its way to
Lake Winnebago.
The commitment to environ
mentally friendly practices also
included the use of recycled as
phalt and recycled roofing shin
gles to create the porous asphalt
that covers the new thorough
fares and allows for underground
water drainage.
The retention of trees was also
prioritized. As new construction
called for clearing, the site crews
transplanted 61 mature trees into
new shade and rest areas that
will be a feature of the reconfig
ured grounds.
While the new thoroughfares,
trees, and relocations of some
buildings and facilities will be con
spicuous, other major elements of
the infrastructure work will not.
Just as the cutting-edge new wa
ter treatment and drainage system
is invisible, so too are all the new
utilities. Buried electrical lines have
been reconfigured throughout the
site to match the new exhibit lay
out. Likewise, newly upgraded
shower and flush-toilet facilities
in the campgrounds must be sup
ported by underground electricity,
water, and drainage systems.
Taylor noted that EAA's work on
the physical infrastructure of the
site is based on an underlying phil
osophical "infrastructure" of sorts.
"The major principles of this site
enhancement program drive every
continued on page 36

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experience for our many guests.

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Mail your contribution to: EAA, VINTAGE AIRCRAFT ASSOC., PO Box 3086, OSHKOSH, WI 549033086

In 1939, Ryan sold an almost stock model, desig

nated ST-A-l, which the Army called the XPT-16 (sin
39-717), and after initial evaluation, they ordered 15
more for service tests as YPT-16. The success of YPT-16
trials led to the order of 40 of a very similar model des
ignated PT-20, the main difference being a larger cock-

Ryan ST-A Special used by NACA at its Langley Me

morial Aeronautical Laboratory for research on flaps,
slats, and internally balanced ailerons. Later it was
used for pilot familiarization. Still later it was desig
nated NACA 125 and used in the Loads Lab at Langley.

Taking off for the first time on June 8, 1934, from

San Diego's Lindbergh Field, the Ryan ST was a low
wing monoplane with external wire bracing to the
top of the fuselage and to the main undercarriage legs.
Tandem open cockpits had dual controls and dupli
cated basic flight instrumentation. Construction was
a metal monocoque fuselage, with wooden wing spars
and metal ribs. As a trainer, the ST was uniqu e in its
field and a big improvement over its competitors.
Powered by a 95-hp Menasco B4 four-cylinder in-line
engine, only five STs were built. The ST-A [for Aerobat
ics], an upgraded version, was offered shortly thereafter,
sporting a more powerful Menasco C4 engine. When
fitted with a 150-hp Menasco C4-S, the ST-A became the
ST-A Special. In 1937, a military version of the ST-A Spe
cial was developed, dubbed the STM (for Military).
With the U.S. Army expanding rapidly in the years
just before World War II, a big market for military
trainers opened up.

APRIL 2009

pit with external stiffening in the

cockpit area. Both models proved
to be troublesome and were rapidly
removed from service.
During 1941, the Menasco en
gine powering the YPT-16s and PT
20s was discarded by the Army in
favor of the Kinner R-440 radial.
The installation of the new engine
in a streamlined nose fairing with
exposed cylinder heads led to the
new military designation of PT-21,
of which 100 were ordered in 1941.
The advent of the Army-Navy
trainer standardization program co
incided with the development of a
more powerful variant, the ST-3, with
a 160-hp Kinner R-S40-l. Orders for
this model, designated PT-22 Re
cruit, all placed in 1941, totaled
1,023. The PT-22s went into service

at Civilian Pilot Training Program

schools across the country. Produc
tion ended in 1942.
But the in-line engine variant
of the PT series wasn't dead. Other
countries showed a deep interest
in the STM, and the plane sold rea
sonably well in South America and
China. Ryan's biggest export cus
tomer was the Dutch government.
In 1940, the Dutch ordered 108
Ryan STMs, 24 of them equipped

with floats . Sixty of them were ear

marked for the Militaire Luchtvaart
van het Koninkliijk Nederlands In
dishe Leger (ML-KNIL, Royal Neth
erlands East Indies Army Air Force),
to be operated from their main base
at Bandoeng, in Java. Ordered in
two batches, serial numbered RO
W to RO-49 (STM-2 c/n 407-446)
and RO-SO to RO-69 (STM-S2 c/n
49S-S14), the planes were delivered
starting November 18, 1940.

Top: Resting in the verdant grass at the air

port in Brodhead, Wisconsin, the Ryan has
come a long way from its days in the Dutch
Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (MLD, Naval Air Ser
vice) in Java.
Above: With a well-cushioned cockpit coam
ing surrounding the snug cockpit, the Ryan
ST is a comfortable airplane for the Sports
man pilot.
Left: The Ryan ST's spectacular wheel spats
and landing gear fairing are a distinctive part
of the airplane's persona.

All of these aircraft were de

stroyed by enemy action or captured
intact when the Japanese overran
the Netherlands East Indies (NEI) in
late winter/early spring 1942.
The other 48 were operated by the
Marine Luchtvaart Dienst (MLD,
Naval Air Service), mostly from its
main base at Morokrembangan,
near Soerabaja, on the Island of
Java. Serial numbered S-l1 to S-58
(STM-2 c/n 447-494), most of these
airplanes survived the Japanese in
vasion and were evacuated to Aus
tralia before the March 8, 1942,
surrender of Java.
After protracted negotiations,
the aircraft were impressed into ser
vice with the Royal Australian Air
Force (RAAF) as trainers or station
hacks and allocated serials A50-1
10 APRIL 2009

to A50-34. By late 1944, most of

the airframes were in storage at Ev
ans Head, New South Wales (NSW),
home of the Royal Australian Air
Force 1st Air Observer School and
1st Bombing and Gunnery School.
In April 1945, a major storm bat
tered the NSW coastline, destroy
ing five of the stored Ryans and
damaging many more. At war's end,
the surviving aircraft were sold
by the Commonwealth Disposals
Commission for an average price of
400 Pounds (200 without engine,
eqUivalent to about $1,600 and
$800 respectively) and released to
the civilian market.
Never a cheap airplane, the sur
viving Ryans are now the pride and
joy of their owners in Australia, New
Zealand, and in the United States.

One prime example is still flying in

the hands of Gary Kozak, of Down
ers Grove, Illinois, its catchy MLD
markings reminding the onlooker
of this little-known theater of op
erations of World War II.
Ryan STM-S2 N8146 (c/n 457)
was ordered by the Dutch govern
ment on June 25, 1940, as part of
a batch of 12 (S-l1 to S-22) ear
marked for the MLD. The 12, plus
12 sets of floats, left Los Angeles
aboard SS Hoegh Silver Dawn on
November 18, 1940, bound for the
NEI. Assigned serial S-21 , it arrived
in Java on January 3, 1941, and it
flew training missions from the
main MLD Base at Morokremban
gan, starting on February 26, 1941.
Facing the advance of the Japa
nese invaders, S-21 was crated along
with 33 other Ryans and evacuated
aboard the MS Tijnegara, which
sailed for Australia on February 17,
1942, and managed to evade Japa
nese air and naval forces. The crates
lingered on the Sydney docks while
the negotiations between the Aus
tralian government and the NEI
authorities in exile for the acqui
sition of the Ryans were ongoing.
Following its purchase by Australia,
sin 457 finally arrived in its crate
at Mascot Aerodrome, near Sydney,
on August 27, 1942.
It appears that the plane had
to be rebuilt from its original fu
selage and spare parts from parts

In the markings of the Dutch East Indies MLD, 5-21 flew from the base at Morokrembangan, Java, during 1941.

of sin 463, as sin 457 was either

improperly crated or damaged dur
ing transit. Assigned serial A50-30,
it served with the RAAF until Feb
ruary 12, 1945, at which date it
was put in storage at Evans Head.
Damaged again during the storm
that hit this RAAF station on April
4, 1945, it was rebuilt and sold to
Brown and Dureau Ltd. on April
19, 1947. Acquired by the Newcas
tle, NSW, Aero Club on July 7 of
the same year, it became VH-BBJ
on the Australian register.
After a lapse in registration, it was
sold to G. Harle, of Newcastle, NSW,
on June 9, 1957, who obtained the
new VH-BXN identity for the Ryan.
John Swanson, of Mareeba, North
Queensland, one of the following
owners, had to resort to a forced
landing in November of 1964. Dam
age to the plane warranted it to be
stored awaiting extensive restora
tion. Bernie Anderson acquired it on
March 23, 1965, and immediately
obtained the VH-RUM registration,
as the previous had lapsed and he
had formed the plan to bring the
Ryan back to flying status.
Work started in 1967, but was
not completed before Dorr Carpen
ter, of Chicago, Illinois, imported
S-21 into the United States in Sep
tember 1969, as part of a batch of
Ryans. Carpenter obtained FAA
registration N8146, restored the
airplane, and repainted its origi

nal MLD markings. The first post

restoration test flight took place on
July 10, 1970, revealing only a mi
nor need to adjust the rigging of
the airplane.
This accomplished, the Ryan was
presented at EAA Oshkosh 1970
and the Antique Airplane Associa
tion convention, where it was voted
"Best Open Cockpit Ryan" and "Best
Original Ryan" by the public.
Sold in June 1971 to Robert
"Bob" Friedman of Highland Park,
Illinois, the Ryan was substantially
damaged-again-in a ground col
lision with another airplane in Bel
videre, Illinois, on June 21 , 1975.
Returning it to flying status, Bob
Friedman enjoyed the airplane until
his untimely death in an unrelated
airplane accident. As the executor
of his estate, Pat, his wife, became
the owner of the ST, and she flew it
for a couple of years before selling
to James O'Donnell of Naperville,
Illinois, in May 1990.
In May 1999, after flying the air
plane for almost 10 years, O'Donnell
decided to sell it to Gary Kozak of
Downers Grove, Illinois, its current
owner, who recounts:
"When I got it, it was a flier; I did
not have to do much to it. The pre
vious owner did an annual with me,
so I got a good education on some
of the unique aspects of the plane."
Gary flew the Ryan for several
years, enjoying each flight and the

challenges that go with antique air

plane ownership. Then, during a
flight on June 13, 2003, things got
very interesting:
"The engine started running
very rough and could barely pro
duce enough power to hold alti
tude. There was belching smoke and
blowing oil all over the plane. This
led to a partial dismantling and in
spection of the engine. The culprit
was a blown supercharger seal that
allowed large quantities of oil to be
ingested by the engine.
"I talked to Brad Ball , in Cali
fornia-the guru of Menasco en
gines-who told me that, in order
to get to the seal, I would have to
dismantle a large portion of the en
gine, including the accessory case
and gears. Since the C4 was ap
proaching overhaul time, and that
he also mentioned he was build
ing a Menasco D4-87 engine, a very
similar, but much improved engine,
I decided to switch over."
As usual with old airplanes, it
was not as simple as it should have
been. This modification had never
been attempted before, and it had
to be approved by the Federal Avi
ation Administration (FAA) be
forehand. With the help of EAA
Technical Counselor Joe Lienau,
Gary spent months preparing the
documentation. One major com
plication was that the carburetor
was in a different position in the


new engine and required a new

induction system to be designed
and fabricated.
liThe 337 form was 13 pages
long with diagrams I spent several
months drawing up, as I am not ex
actlya draftsman."
The modification was finally
Now, the engine has nice, fil
tered air, and even if it is only rated
at 134 hp instead of the original
150, I get good performance."
Gary takes us through a flight
around the patch:
After a normal preflight, it is im
portant to remember to turn the oil
on and pull a few blades to get it cir
culating through the engine. It does
have a starter, but it is just a battery
and no generator, so you get 8 or
10 starts out of it; then you need
to recharge. You give a few shots of
the wobble pump, just to get a few
pounds of pressure. Usually, the en
gine starts right up, within a few
blades. I tend to lean the mixture
aggressively-because of the lead
content of modern gasoline, I try to
avoid deposits-and let the engine
warm up. The run-up is pretty stan
dard: mag checks, carburetor heat,
and full power check. The engine
is rated at 2260 rpm max. I have
disk brakes, the same system as the


12 APRIL 2009

Beech Bonanza, so there is plenty

of brake power to keep the airplane
stopped at full power.
"When all the parameters are
nominal, I taxi out and line up
on the runway. Once in position,
I normally apply full power before
releasing the brakes, so I can do one
last check inside the cockpit. When
it starts rolling, all my attention
has to be outside. My feet are never
still, constantly adjusting for the
trajectory of the airplane. Push the
stick forward, and hold it until the
tail comes up. You pretty much can
feel it when the plane is ready to fly.
In a crosswind, you have plenty of
rudder authority, but you still have
to make sure to keep it straight to
avoid a ground loop.
liThe gear is quite narrow and
the center of gravity pretty high,
which make for a relatively un
stable situation. The geometry of
the airplane is better, and the cen
ter of gravity moves forward as the
tail goes up. In flight the controls
are very nice and well-balanced
and very responsive. It takes off in
about 800 feet, at about 60 mph;
climb is at about 80 mph. It is sup
posed to stall at 35 mph.
lilt cruises at 100-110 mph, but
you have to stay ahead of it at all
times . On downwind, bring the

power back gradually, to bleed air

speed and to be at idle abeam the
touchdown point. Flaps down, al
most straight to full 45 degrees.
I usually make a pretty high ap
proach in case of engine malfunc
tion in the pattern; this helps keep
the nose down to better see ahead.
I slip it in on final to create high
drag, to lose altitude fast, and try
to keep the runway in sight until
reaching the numbers.
liThe plane is fully aerobatic, but
I have not tried much yet, other
than the occasional falling leaf,"
as the airplane is 68 years old. It
was originally stressed to 9Gs, but I
do not think I would like to push it
that far. Nevertheless, I am sure the
Ryan is perfectly safe for all the ba
sic aerobatic maneuvers.
"I am not a high-time tailwheel
guy, so it is a very challenging air
plane for me on the ground. It does
like to ground loop, so you have to
watch that. However, in flight, it is
a very straightforward airplane."
With its classic good looks and
bright colors, Gary Kozak's Ryan
ST-A Special cannot be ignored.

Big thanks to Ted Miller for flying

the Stearman photo plane during this
air-to-air mission over the cornfields
surrounding Brodhead Airport. .......

Michael Melvin
Concord, NC
450 flight hours

Work as an A&P at us Airways in

Char/otte, NC - heavy maintenance
work on 737s, some 757s and
some Airbuses
Presently own three planes:
Cessna 170, under restoration;
Ercoupe 415-D; Light miniature
Aircraft LM-I, 3/ 4 cub replica

"I had a plane crash on August 9, 2001 , while flying an Avid

Mark IV. The aileron control rod was broken and I had no
control at all. I was insured with AUA and had no hassles of
any kind. It was a very pleasant end to a nasty situation."

- Michael Melvin

AUA is Vintage Aircraft Association approved. To become a member of VAA call 8oo84336J2.

Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program oRen:

Lower premiums with payment options - Additional coverages - Flexibility on the use of your aircraft - Experienced agents
OrHine quote request available - AUA is licensed in all states

Magical moments of yesteryear . .. The 90th anniversary

of scheduled airmail in the United States

t was, in a word, outstanding.

That's the most succinct way to
describe the 2008 Antique Air
plane Association (AAA) and Air
Power Museum's (APM) annual in
vitational fly-in, which celebrated
the 90th anniversary of scheduled
airmail in the United States. While
there were many h elping hands
along the way, the primary organiz
ers for the event were Mike Gretz,
APM president; Brent Taylor, AAA
executive director and APM trea
surer; and Blakesburg, Iowa, Post

14 APRIL 2009

master Susie Pierson.

Taylor says, "The original idea
was Mike's. He proposed that we
celebrate the '90th Anniversary of
Scheduled Airmail Service in the
United States' in anticipation of the
Pemberton Boeing 40 being finished
and flying. I thought it was a capital
idea and that if we were going to do
that, we might as well go ahead and
actually fly some mail while we were
at it. We then proposed the idea to
the APM board and again were met
with enthusiasm. So there was no

turning back at that point. Consid

ering that neither Mike nor I had
any idea of how to accomplish being
able to fly the mail, I approached Su
sie Pierson, our Blakesburg postmas
ter, and she too was smitten with
the notion. So it was then that Mike,
Susie, and I forged ahead and man
aged to put together and success
fully complete our plans. The whole
event was challenging!"
Their hard work and attention
to even the smallest details paid
off with dividends as the" Airmail

A nice example of
a vintage postal
cover, which was
flown on July
17, 1928-First
Flight, Kalama
zoo, Michigan.

Herr, J
Ide Cllnll
100 'ltew;.r t

Chioago. IG~"

Days" theme came to re ~~.:~~~~Ir.-.r.IIIIIII.

splendent life, with the sound of ra cial postal
dial engines reverberating overhead swearing-in ceremony
and the sights of rare airplanes fly- of airmail pilots and crews every
ingthrough the gorgeous blue sky in morning. They were required to
southern Iowa. It was magnificent sign an airmail contract just like
living history-magical moments the one Lindbergh signed in 1926,
of yesteryear, alive in the present- and afterward, they were given a
beginning with the offi set of gold wings. The mail was
then loaded, and the impressive
departure and arrivals of an que biplanes and monoplanes
commenced at Antique Airfield
(Blakesburg), Ottumwa, and Iowa



on the transcontinental airmail

ty (which was an original stop
A limited number of souve
nir, commemorative postal cov
ers were designed for the event,
Postal cover with the Pitcairn ca
chet, flown on August 28.
cover with the de Havilland DH-4
cachet, flown on August 30.

Postal cover with the Boeing 40C cachet, flown

on August 29.
Postal cover with the Jenny cachet , flown on
August 27.



Greg Herrick of Minneapolis, Minnesota, flew the airmail in his 1927

Ford 4-AT-B from Antique Airfield to Ottumwa and Iowa City and back
on August 29. The Ford received the 2008 AAAjAPM Fly-in Ken Love
Memorial award for the Best Wright-Powered Aircraft.

Rich Hornbeck of Bowdoinham, Maine, flew the mail in

his 1929 Waco ASO from Antique Airfield to Ottumwa
and Iowa City and back on August 29 and 30.

Inset: Ben Scott in his 1930 Stearman 4E; his father

carried mail in the biplane during National Airmail
Week in 1938.

Steve Gray flew international mail in this de Havilland

DH-82C-owned by Bob Revell and Tom Dietrich of Robert Newhouse of Rockford, Illinois, took a turn fly
Guelph, Ontario, Canada-from Antique Airfield to Ot ing the mail from Ottumwa to Iowa City to Antique Air
field on August 30 in his Bird CK.
tumwa and back on August 29.
16 AP R IL 2009


Dick Jackson flew the mail in his 1931
Sikorsky S-39-, Spirit of Igor, from An
t ique Airfield to Ottumwa and Iowa City
and back on August 29.

based upon the size and appearance

of 1920s and '30s air m ail enve
lopes. And a custom 42-cent stamp,
which closely resembled the origi
nal 1918 airmail stamp, adorned
the upper right corner, along with
an outgoing cancellation stamp
that replicated those used on the
original contract airmail routes. A
different cachet was featured on
the postal cover for each of the four
days during the fly-in-the Jenny,
Pitcairn, Boeing 40C, and de Havil
land DH-4.
liThe Jenny was the key histor
ical aircraft to tie the 90th anni
versary flights back in time to the
original 1918 flights," explains Tay
lor, "since the U.S. mail service or
dered Hisso-powered Jennys for
use in the original flights of 1918.
Frank Schelling brought his Jenny
here from California, and it is one
of only two Hisso-powered Jennys
flyable in the world."
If you weren't able to attend this
special historical event, take a few
moments to enjoy the photographs
on these pages. These are the air
planes that made Airmail Days"
take flight in 2008. Nine of the par
ticipating airplanes (or representa
tive types) were originally airmail
carriers, according to Taylor. They
were the Curtiss Jenny, de Havil
land DH-4, Boeing 40C, Ford 4-AT-B,
Stinson SM-6000B, Stearman 4E,
Stearman 4DM, Stearman C3B, and
the Waco ASO. All told, there were


Eric Preston flew the airmail in Frank Schelling's 1918 Curtiss IN-4H
Jenny from Antique Airfield to Ottumwa and back on August 27, 29, and
30. Schelling is from Pleasant Hill, California, and his Jenny received the
2008 AAA/APM Fly-in Antique - Grand Champion award.


Addison Pemberton flew his newly restored 1928 Boeing 40C from An
tique Airfield to Ottumwa and back on August 29. The Boeing 40C was
awarded the 2008 AAA/APM Fly-in "People's Choice" and Jack Knight
Award - Best Airmail Carrier.


Quite the lineup for takeoff on

the grass runway: A 1928 Cur
tiss Wright Travel Air 4000
waits behind the 1931 Sikorsky
S-39, which is behind the 1941
New Standard D-25, just behind
the 1929 Texaco" Waco ASO.

Larry Tobin of Spokane, Washington , flew the airmail

in his newly restored 1927 Stearman C3B from An
tique Airfield to Ottumwa and back on August 29 and
30. The Stearman received the 2008 Lyle Hoselton
Memorial award for Best Workmanship by Owner.

17 airplanes to carry the mail dur

ing the fly-in. And in addition to
the aircraft pictured here (so as not
to leave anyone out), two other air
planes also flew the mail: Tom Lowe
of Crystal Lake, Illinois, flew the
mail from Antique Airfie ld to Ot
tumwa and return on August 28 in
his 1942 Stearman N2S, and Dino
Vlahakis of Lebanon, New Hamp
shire, flew the mail from Antique
Airfield to Ottumwa and return
on August 30 in his 1941 Stear
man N2S. These were historically
significant as well, since Ottumwa
was originally a Naval Air Station
during World War II, where several
hundred Stearmans were based.
Th ough it's a challenge in itself
to single out the most significant

The elegantly restored DH-4 and Jenny taxi over to the fuel truck at An
tique Airfield.

reward for the long, laborious hours

of orchestrating this year's fly-in,
Taylor thoughtfu lly sh ares that it's
lithe enjoyment tha t everyone
from the pilots to the bystanders
seemed to get out of the event. I

Jim Obowa flew the mail from Antique Airfield to Ot

tumwa and Iowa City and back on August 29 in Greg
Herrick's 1931 Stinson SM-6000B.

APRIL 2009

Ted Davis of Brodhead, Wisconsin, flew mail and

postal officials from Antique Airfield to Ottumwa and
Iowa City and back on August 30 in his 1941 New
Standard D-25 (the biplane is dedicated to the mem
ory of Denny Trone).

th ink all realized they were partic

ipating in a historic moment that
won 't soon be repeated, and that's
pretty neat!" Indeed. For more in
formation, visit www.AntiqueAirfield.

Rare sights, such as this 1929 Texaco #7 Waco ASO

and 1931 Sikorsky S-39 flyby, were plentiful during
the Airmail Days themed fly-in.

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Light Plane Heritage


EAA Experimenter JULY


Uncle Bob's



Part I

This drawing of the Fokker Eindecker clearly shows why

the midwing type was well-suited to the many cables re
quired to brace the very thin monoplane wings of that time.
"Eindecker" means "one decker," or "one-winger."

The odd title of this article obviously needs ex

plaining! Well, you see, a glance at the calendar made
us realize that the circus and carnival season is in full
swing. That caused the happy thought to occur to
us that it would be fun to present our readers with a
sort of aeronautical midway. So here it is! Be assured,
you'll find it to be every bit as juicy as an expertly
grilled Wisconsin bratwurst.
Airplanes of what are commonly referred to as the
midwing type have been with us since the early days
of flying, and they are still being built. But with the
exception of certain military types, none have been
built in significant quantities. How often do you see
one at general-aviation airports?
To the best of our knowledge this is the first time
any magazine has published an article specifically
about midwings. [Okay, now Vintage Airplane is the
second.-HGF] In fact, it's even worth noting that
textbooks on aircraft design contain next to nothing
about the type.
It is proper to say something right now about the
word "m idwing." We choose to use it because it's
both well-known and clear enough to most people as
to its meaning. However, it's proper to point out that

there's also the term" shoulder-wing." By studying

the illustrations accompanying this article and the se
quel that will appear next month, you can decide for
yourself which one to apply to a particular design.
We should also mention that in the early 1930s the
Heath lightplane firm applied the term "center-wing"
to a model that was neither a parasol nor a low-wing.
We don't really know why, but we have a hunch.
Many early aviation entrepreneurs had a keen grasp of
good public relations techniques and frequently used
it to their advantage. It's possible that Heath's pro
motion people felt that "center-wing" might be more
meaningful than "midwing" to the aviation newcom
ers toward whom their advertising was slanted.
The reason early monoplanes like the Bleriots, Nie
uports, Antoinettes, Moranes, Blackburns, Handley
Pages, Fokkers, Taubes, Cessnas, and others of the
1909-1915 period were midwings was simple. This
layout lent itself admirably well to the problem of
how to make wings light yet acceptably strong.
In those early days, aeronautical design was more
a matter of cut-and-try than of precise mathematical
calculation. Experimenters of that time often studied
birds intensively, and this led most of them to believe

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

APRIL 2009

The advent of thicker airfoils in

the 1920s permitted the use of
deeper, stronger wing spars and
a significant reduction in the
number of drag-producing
stranded cables. Overhead
struts gave pilots protection in
nose-overs and offered conve
nient hand holds for getting in
and out of seats.
The upper ship is a 1920s Farman
Mosquito built in France. The lower one
is an American Buhl Bull Pup of 1931. A
deep fuselage provided a much cleaner
attachment place for lower ends of the
streamlined flying wires than the Fok
ker's inverted cabane-strut arrangement.

that aeroplane wings should be as thin in cross sec planes will enable you to grasp this.
When fuselages were of shallow depth, acceptable
tion as the wings of birds. Because these early airfoils
were so thin, wing spar depth was slight and therefore bracing angles could not be achieved. So build ers re
so weak in bending that many external brace wires sorted, in some cases, to attach ing the inboard ends
were necessary to stiffen them acceptably.
of wing lift wires to the lower portions of the landing
Better-educated pioneers made use of simple stress gears on some planes and in others to V-struts or king
calculation and truss-work methods that had been de posts affixed to the undersides of fuselages. A few de
veloped for the masts and rigging of sailing ships and signers made their fuselages deep enough to give good
the truss work of bridges. But they, of course, were bracing angles to wires attached to lower longerons.
under much more pressure to achieve structural light
ness. Many therefore saw it as being logical to adopt
the biplane type because it was so well-adapted to light
but strong trussing.
But the thought This diagram shows how wing truss
doubtlessly oc loads increase as we go from para
curred to some that sol to high-wing to midwing config
they had never seen urations. This was less of a problem
a biplane bird! If na in short-span racers than in low
ture in her great wis powered, long-span Iightplanes.
dom chose to give
birds monoplane
wings, why, then,
they should there
This Longster by Les Long could properly be
fore make their fly
called a shoulder-wing design. Top longerons
ing machines of the
were raised to position the wing-attachment
monoplane type.
fittings. This wing positioning might have ben
The more clever
efited strut and spar loadings. A top cylinder
designers under
and high vertical tail could have afforded some
stood the princi
turnover protection for the pilot's head. The
ples of truss work
plans are printed in the 1931 Flying and Glider
well enough to re
Manual available through EAA's Membership
alize the great im
Services Department, 1-800-564-6322.
portance of what
we call bracing an
gles . A study of the
nearby drawing of
parasol, high-wing,
and midwing mono


Based on Parasol components, the

Heath Center Wing of 1932, below,
had a 27-foot span

of the
Above-Built by students at Curtiss
Wright aviation school in Glendale,
California , in 1936, the 36-hp
Aeronca-powered Bunting
had a jaunty look. Th e
shoulder-wing design ,
similar to the Longster
on page 21, positioned the wings higher
to the benefit of the bracing angle.

It was fairly standard practice to attach the inboard

ends of wing spars directly to fuselage upper lon
gerons. This procedure was simple, light, and strong.
The sturdy fuselage cross member took the compres
sion loads that wing lift acting on the lift wires cre
ated. As the thin airfoils often had to be installed at
appreciable angles of incidence, for the sake of lift,
the rear spars were positioned too low to attach to
top longerons. In such cases, suitable supplementary
crosspieces at an appropriate distance below the lon
gerons were used.
This layout worked well. In 1913, only 10 years
after the Wrights first flew, the French Deperdussin
midwing monoplane powered by a 160-hp twin-row
Gnome rotary engine attained the speed of 130 mph.

feet. It was
faster and
rode better
in choppy air. The 40
hp Continental was the
powerplant. Note the rather shal
low strut angle. The ship is de
scribed in U.S. Civil Aircraft by
Juptner, Vol. 5.

In the autumn of 1914 Bleriot, Morane, and Taube

midwings were among the first aircraft to go to war.
They crossed battle lines to observe and report on en
emy movements, the location of supply depots, and
before long, on the accuracy of artillery fire.
The poor downward visibility that's characteristic
of the midwing configuration soon prompted mili
tary aviation people to ask airplane makers to develop
parasol monoplanes.
Then observation plane pilots began shooting at
one another's airplanes with pistols and rifles. It wasn't
long before forward -firing machine guns were be
ing installed and dogfighting appeared on the scene.
The French hit on the idea of attaching steel deflector
plates to the rear sides of propeller blades to keep bul-

Homely to modern eyes, the carefully thought-out Loen

ing M-8 of 1918 was surprisingly lighter and faster than

European biplane fighters. Openings in fuselage sides

below the wings and wing-root cutouts, combined with

the absence of wings above and below as on biplanes,

afforded pilot and gunner superior visibility in the direc

tions that counted in combat. The short , one-piece el

evator was less in the line of fire. Derived from the M-8,

the tiny Loening Kitten of 1922, left, was a quick-erect spotter plane for submarines. It was designed as a

seaplane from the outset, and its floats provided an ideal place to attach wing struts.
22 APRIL 2009

Left- The low aspect ratio of the 1919 Huntington gave a

wing chord of 54 inches and put the front and rear spars
fa r enough apart to give an ample cockpit opening. Be
low right-The Heath Baby Bullet of 1928 used the thin
St. Cyr airfoil for speed. The rear spar had to be well for
ward of the trailing edge to get the needed depth, so its
spars were only 17 inches apart. The cockpit was thus
positioned aft of the rear spar. At 5 feet 2 inches and 110
pounds, the slight Ed Heath balanced the 95-pound Bris
tol Cherub in the nose. If a larger person tried to fly it, it
would probably have been tail heavy. Reproductions of
early race planes are not for unskilled pilots!

lets from "sawing" the blades off. The Germans cap

tured one of these planes; Tony Fokker studied it and
came up with a mechanical interrupter gear to do the
job more effectively.
The Eindecker did not have ailerons but relied on
somewhat sluggish wing warping. But its ability to
shoot down Allied aircraft prompted the Allies to de
velop pusher-type fighters with steady-firing machine
guns in their noses. They had ailerons and rolled faster
than the Eindecker. So the Germans replaced it with
the aileron-equipped Albatros and other biplanes.
When an airplane is subjected to violent maneu
vering, aileron loads can apply great stresses to wing
structures. This is what prompted fighter construc
tors on both sides to adopt the biplane configura
tion. But it should be mentioned that as the war
progressed, the British developed the mid wing Bris
tol Bullet, a monoplane that could attain 130 mph
on the 110-hp LeRhone engine. So wary were the
British aviation people of monoplanes, however,
that they shipped these admirable midwings to the
Middle East for use in observation and communica
tion work rather than in dogfighting.
In 1917 one of the few real American aeronauti
cal engineers then in business, Grover C. Loening,
went to France to make a thorough study of Euro
pean battle planes. He paid particular attention to
the two-seaters that were becoming increasingly
popular by virtue of observers in their rear cockpits
being able to shoot at enemy planes attacking from
behind and above.
These ships were all biplanes . Their wings tended
to block both pilots' and observers' views into certain
upward, sidewise, and downward angles both in level
flight and in dogfighting attitudes.
Back in the States, Loening put the lessons he had
learned into developing a better battle plane. He de
signed what we can properly call a shoulder-wing

monoplane. As it first flew in August of 1918, it never

reached the front. But its performance made mili
tary people really take notice. The monoplane design
called for significantly fewer parts, was lighter, had
less drag, and did a very respectable 143 mph with a
300-hp Hispano-Suiza in the nose.
The pilot had a good forward view between the
banks of the V-8 engine. Large openings in the fuse
lage sides just below the wings afforded him a better
view below than he could get in a biplane. Cutouts in
the wing trailing edges at the roots gave the gunner
good downward vision.
And here's an important point. Pilots don't vary in
height all that much when standing up, and even less
when sitting down. In a plane of the Loening M-8's
size it was easy to seat occupants so that only their
heads projected above the cockpit rims. But when a
pilot of average size gets into the cockpit of a small
sportplane having a normally shallow fuselage, not
only his head but also his shoulders, arms, and up
per body will stick up into the airstream. He'll be cold
on a chilly day, and his form will add significantly to
his low-powered ship's air resistance. When doodling
small airplanes we must, therefore, be aware of the pi
lot's proportionally greater bulk and weight.
Although it never got into combat and is all but
forgotten today, the Loening M-8 exerted great influ
ence on American airplane designers' thinking. As the
1920s moved on, a number of midwing and shoul
der-wing planes appeared that gave broad hints as to
whence they got their inspiration.
In 1922 Loening scaled the M-8 down to create
the Kitten, an 18-foot-span scouting seaplane for the
Navy. Looking at a picture of it can still set airplane
lovers to daydreaming!
With the pressures of war behind them, engineers
in the early 1920s had time to undertake methodical
wind tunnel work. The realization spread that thicker


The English Short Satellite of 1924 had an aluminum monocoque fuselage of oval cross-section. Its midwing
design gave a clean juncture of wing roots to fuselage. To get a fair takeoff and climb on the 32-hp Bristol
Cherub, a 34-foot span wing was used. A small propeller led to a short landing gear. If this had been a low
wing, the wingtips would have scraped the ground often. Downward visibility from the front cockpit obvi
ously was good.

Built at Defiance, Ohio, the Simplex Red Arrow, left, seated two side-by-side. From Downey, California, the
Emsco B-7, right, seated two in tandem. One sometimes has to do a lot of thinking to figure out what advan
tages some designers saw in the midwing configuration. Looking at the relationship between the cockpit
openings and wing roots of these two ships, one can wonder how each fared as regards turbulence and tail
surface buffeting. Simplex is described on page 307 of the 1929 edition of Jane's All the World's Aircraft,
and Emsco on page 274 of the 1930 edition. See also volumes 3 and 5 of Juptner's U.S. Civil Aircraft. Em
sco wheel pants were made of welded steel tube frames covered with fabric. They were quick and easy to
make, but water splashing into the pants rusted the frames.

airfoils were more efficient than the old thin ones.

Their thickness meant that deeper spars could now be
used, which in turn led to a reduction in the amount
of external bracing and parasite drag.
Another aspect of the relationship between pilot
and aircraft size is the matter of cockpit size in mid
wings. An accompanying drawing shows the Heath
Baby Bullet of 1928. In a typical midwing the front
wing spars attach to the longerons where a crosspiece
is located more or less at the bottom of the instru
ment panel. The rear ones similarly attach just be
hind the seat back.
The Bullet used a thin airfoil for the sake of speed.
Its rearward portion was so thin that the rear spar
had to be located farther forward than is usual so
it could be made deep enough for strength. In the
Bullet this resulted in the front and rear spars be
ing only 17 inches apart. Even as small a man as Ed
Heath would have been very unhappy with a cockpit
as short as that. So his plane's cockpit had to be lo
cated in the first bay aft of the rear wing spar. Those
who'd like to study the Bullet more thoroughly can
find detailed plans in the 1930 Flying and Glider Man

APRIL 2009

ual. (Call 1-800-564-6322 or visit the EAA store at

http://Shap.EAA .arg.)

Fortunately, in larger and more typical sportplanes

the distance between front and rear spars tends to
be around 25 to 30 inches. That provides cockpits of
more acceptable, safer, and more comfortable front
to-back length.
Sight should not be lost of the fact that tapered
wings are sometimes advantageous on midwings. The
distance between their front and rear spars at the wing
roots is greater, and this translates into cockpit length.
As with other types of aircraft, it can be risky to
make pat statements about midwings. Someone who
says "Midwings are better (or worse) than other types
in this-or-that respect" is likely to learn something
someday that shows how wrong he is. There have
been midwings that have had very poor downward
visibility, and others in which it was acceptably good.
There have been some that were awkward to get into
and out of, and others that were easy. And there have
been those that were aerodynamically dirty, and oth
ers that were admirably clean. We'll look into such
things next month.

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Critical inspection items

I sent out e-mails to various Travel
Air Restorers Association (TARA)
members asking for input into what
they felt were critical inspection
items. Thus far I have received three
responses . I am looking for "com
mon threads" that may run through
the lists. My task was to compile a
list of 10 critical items, publish that
list in TARA's newsletter, and then
add to the list as other concerns ap
pear. These additional concerns can
be added at a later date, but I want
to get things going. We will only be
helping ourselves by getting informa
tion like this out to members now.
By publishing these critical inspec
tion items and proactively address
ing them during maintenance, there
should be little or no need for future
airworthiness directives (AD) notes on
these old airplanes. In other words,
the Federal Aviation Administration
(FAA) is allowing us to "police" our
own airplanes for critical airworthi
ness issues. I think that is much better
than facing possible future AD notes.
While this list is specific to the Travel
Air, it can serve as a "brain teaser" for
you as you create your own critical in
spection item list for your favorite air
plane. So let's get with the program.
The old Civil Aeronautics Admin
istration (CAA) airworthiness mainte
nance bulletins were the first attempt
to warn owners of potential haz
ardous problems with their aircraft.
These bulletins apparently began in
1938. Today they are airworthiness
directives, or AD notes (FAR Part 39).
I will rely on some fine work for
warded to me by Phil Wyels and will
duplicate it here in this column. For



further information, contact the

Travel Air Restorers Association.
The following is quoted from
Phil Wyels.
There are no airworthiness di
rectives listed in FAR Part 39 ap
plicable to the Travel Air or Curtiss
Wright Travel Air. There were the
equivalent of today's AD notes is
sued by the CAA. These were titled
airworthiness maintenance bulle
tins. The three of which the writer
has a copy are:
Bulletin 8 dated 4-11-39. Subject:
Wing to center section spar fitting;
early model 2000, 3000, and 4000
with single vertical bolt.
Bulletin 30 dated 7-13-40. Sub
ject: Axle inspection and rein
forcement; B series with outrigger
landing gear.
Bulletin Sl dated 6-10-41. Sub
ject: Rear safety belt attachment;
applies to all Travel Air aircraft.
The CAA also issued a document
titled "Changes in Aircraft Specifi
cation" which in later issues were
titled "Aircraft Maintenance Inspec
tion Notes for Curtiss-Wright Air
craft." The latest copy the writer has
is No A-1231 dated July 7, 1941. The
introduction states, "Supplements
Aircraft Specifications for all models
listed below. Inspectors must report
compliance in accordance with the
current Certification and Inspection
Division instructions covering spe
cial inspection procedures." Thirty
three Travel Air and Curtiss-Wright
Travel Air models, each certificated
under a different ATC or Group 2
Approval, are listed. The writer is

of the opinion that these should be

treated the same as a recurring AD.















10, 12, 19,21












10,17,19, 21















11,20, 23



9, 11, 20, 23



9, 11, 23
9, 11, 20 , 23





11,20, 23






11, 13, 20 , 23



9,11, 20 , 23



11, 20,23



11, 20,23






11, 20,23



11, 20,23









A-6000-A SP


2, 12






5-6000-8 SP



*ATC numbers with 2-xxx indicate a

Group 2 Approval.

Periodic (Annual) Inspection

Required for the Following Notes:
SPECIAL NOTE 2: November 5,
1930. Open fabric under fuselage
or remove floorboard and check
for failure of dual control column
SPECIAL NOTE 9: February 18,
1938. On airplanes equipped with
Bendix 30-by-5 inch wheels, de
termine that the hub cap bolt ex
tends through outboard wheel
adapter and axle proper; or in case
axle tube is short and hub cap
bolt goes through wheel adapter
only, make sure that the adapter is
welded to the axle proper around
the entire circumference instead
of by only a few spot welds, as
found in the field.
SPECIAL NOTE 10: October 20,
1938. Inspect U-shaped center sec
tion diagonal wire fitting at upper
front spar for cracks at the base of
the flange. Faulty fittings must be
replaced and defects reported on
the usual form.
SPECIAL NOTE 11: October 20,
1938, revised March 6, 1939, and
June 15, 1940. Ascertain that in
spection has been made and en
try has been made in logbook
in accordance with Airworthi
ness Maintenance Bulletin No.8.
(Model 0-4-0 added September
10, 1940).
Inspect the stabilizer connect
ing tube forward through the bolt
attachment for off-center location
and/or elongation of the holes in
both the stabilizer leading edge
tube and the internal cross tube.
Inspect the bolt for wear.
Inspect rudder and elevator
cables in the fuselage aft of pilot's
seat for chafing on each of the
bulkhead brace wires. If the tail
skid has been replaced by a tail
wheel, check the wires for chaf
ing against the tail wheel and
support structure.
. The early 30-by-5 wheels used
brass bushings instead of bear
ings between hub and axle. Check

these wheels with the weight re

moved for side play wobble.
Check the stabilizer adjust
ment lever for positive seating of
the pin in the quadrant slot when
plunger is released . This check
should be performed under simu
lated air loads on stabilizer.

SPECIAL NOTE 20: November

22, 1940. On airplanes with de
tachable engine mounts, inspect
the engine mount members for
cracks in the vicinity of the at
tachment fitting to the fuselage. In
case defects are found, the entire
end fitting should be replaced .

SPECIAL NOTE 12: January 7,

1939. Ascertain that the inspec
tion and safetying of the shock
absorbers has been accomplished
in accordance with Maintenance
Bulletin No.4. A copy of this bul
letin has been forwarded to all
owners and inspectors.

SPECIAL NOTE 21: February 3,

1941. Inspect the stabilizer front
spar for cracks in the vicinity of
the root ribs. If defects are found,
repair and reinforce with out
side sleeve (1-1/4 by 0 .049 inch

SPECIAL NOTE 13 : March 23,

1939 . Inspect the aileron hinge
bracket on the wing for cracks in
the vicinity of hinge pin lugs . The
ailerons should be removed to fa
cilitate this inspection. In case de
fects are found, brackets must be
replaced with stiffer ones, prefer
ably made from 0.065-inch thick
X4130 steel.
SPECIAL NOTE 17: July 31,
1940. Ascertain that the shock ab
sorbers piston head and packing
gland nut of the cylinder are safe
tied in a positive manner. In this
connection, Airworthiness Main
tenance Bulletin No.4 should be
considered as also applying to the
Model 16-E.
SPECIAL NOTE 18: July 31,
1940. Ascertain that the logbook
carries a record of inspection or
rework of the landing gear axle
in accordance with Airworthiness
Maintenance Bulletin No. 30.
ber 10, 1940. Inspect rear stabi
lizer support fitting for cracks in
the weld where streamline tube
joins fuselage longeron. If de
fects are found, repair and re
inforce by welding finger straps
(0.065 inch X4130) on both sides
of fitting with fingers extending
along streamline tube and fuse
lage longerons.

SPECIAL NOTE 22 : May 2,

1941. Ascertain that portions of
the exhaust collector rings inside
of the cowling are shielded from
the engine accessories compart
ment by means of baffles extend
ing from the engine ring to the
inside periphery of the cowling.
Such baffles were originally in
stalled by the manufacturer, and
their removal is prohibited. The
original engine mount ring is
provided with drilled holes for
the insertion of such baffles, and
the engine cowling is provided
with exits for the cooling air,
which impinges against the re
quired baffles.
SPECIAL NOTE 23: July 7, 1941.
Ascertain that the rear safety belt
installation is revised in accor
dance with Airworthiness Mainte
nance Bulletin No.5 1.
NOTE: If anyone has a copy of
Airworthiness Maintenance Bulle
tin No.4 or any others not listed,
the writer would appreciate a copy
to add to TARA files .
From Phil Wyels comes the fol
lowing list of critical inspection
Items to Check When Doing an
Annual Inspection on Your Travel
Air Aircraft:
The steel tubes at the aft end
of a tailwheel aircraft can corrode


internally. Check the lower por

tion of the tail post, both lon
gerons in the last bay, and the
elevator torque tube. These have
been areas where moisture accu
mulates. Punch test the tube at
I-inch intervals using a Maule
fabric tester or an ice pick.
If your Travel Air has pulleys
installed in a control system, in
spect the pulleys for wear in the
groove and the cable for broken
strands where it rides on the pul
ley. (AN type pulleys presently
may not be used in a control sys
tem where the bend in control ca
ble is more than 30 degrees. Prior
to 1941, a 2-7/8-inch pulley could
be used.)
If your Travel Air still has
return springs attached to the
rudder pedals, they should be in
spected for grooving at the attach
points and for rust corrosion.
And now a list as prepared by
Bob Lock:
Critical Inspection Items for
Travel Air Airplanes:
Structural Considerations:
All major attachment points for
security and cracks. Streamline
wires for correct tension (loose
ness could indicate possible in
ternal structural problems) .
Wood deterioration, particularly
lower wings at Wing-walk trailing
edge . Any suspicious wrinkles
in fabric at any location could
mean possible internal prob
lems. Landing gear attach points
for wear/cracks. Shock cords for
condition (replace cords before
they stretch and/or break).
Seats and Restraint Systems:
Seats firmly attached to struc
ture. Seat belt/shoulder harness
attachment points secure. Belts/
harness for chafing. Locking de
vices (if any) are positive and
work freely.
Trim System : Excessive wear
on trim sector and handle. Cable
tension correct. Excessive loose
ness (slop) in stabilizer (up and
down, sideways). Tension on brace
wires. Lube hinge points.
Primary Flight Controls: Ex
28 APRIL 2009

cessive looseness (slop) from cock

pit control to surface. Push/pull
tubes and cables for wear/damage
(always set/check cable tensions
with surface in neutral position).
Lube all hinge points.
Fuel System: Evidence of leaks
and chafing of fuel lines. Positive
movement of selector/shut-off
valve . No fuel flow with valve(s)
in OFF position.
Oil System: Leaks and chafing
of lines. Tank hold-down straps
for security and cracks. Hoses
for cracking/deterioration and
clamps tight.
Engine Controls: Full range of
travel and "spring back" on cock
pit control when stop is reached.
Condition of control ends. Elimi
nate any excess movement. Carb
heat for proper operation and
condition of air filter.
Main wheels: Closely inspect
Bendix 30-by-S wheels for cracks
or loose rivets. It will be necessary
to jack aircraft, deflate tire, and
break bead . Move the tire bead
in to inspect rivet heads around
rim. It's a pain to do this but well
worth the effort if loose rivets or
cracks are found. Also check inner
and outer spinnings for dents or
other damage.
Tail Wheel , Steering/Lock
ing: Tire for correct inflation and
check wear pattern. Steerable as
sembly: Check for positive move
ment with rudder, springs snug,
positive locking in "trail" posi
tion. Locking assembly: Check for
positive lock/unlock, shock strut
condition, servicing, and lubrica
tion points.
.Tires: Check for wear patterns;
when wear pattern becomes vis
ible, remove and reverse tires. Al
ways replace tube when replacing
tire. Never allow cord to show.
Brakes: A most important
item that must always work and
work well.
Mechanical: Cables and
pulleys (metallic pulleys
should always be used), re
turn springs, lubrication of
assembly, lining and drum

Hydraulic: Leaks, correct
fluid type used for servicing,
return springs, lubrication
of moving parts, condition
of lining and drums (check
for out-of-round; if they're
out-of-round, the brakes
may "grab").
This commences our listing of
the most critical inspection items
on Travel Air and Curtiss-Wright
Travel Air aircraft . The list will
expand with time, and we will
continue to publish the data as
it is received and compiled. My
thanks go to Phil Wyels for his in
put into this column. Any owner/
operators, mechanics, or inspec
tors are encouraged to file your
list of critical inspection items
for Travel Air airplanes. You may
send the lists to the association,
and the lists will find their way
to me. Thanks in advance for all
your help in keeping owners, pi
lots, and our aircraft safe. If you
have a task that you feel is a criti
cal inspection item on a different
type of aircraft, and you think it's
generic to most other vintage air
planes, send it along.
Also included in this article is
an example of an old CAA airwor
thiness maintenance inspection
notes dated November 6, 1942. It
concerns Command-Aire Model
3C3 aircraft and is signed by the
ship's original deSigner, Albert A.
Vollmecke. Note that Albert was
division chief of the CAA (later
the FAA), a position he occupied
until his retirement from the FAA
in 1968.

Travel Air Restorers Association (TARA)

Jeny ImpelBmII'i
4925 Wilma Way
San Jose, CA 95124
Website: www.
Dues: $15Iyear
New.ater: Travel Air Log, QuarleIty

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Soft-field techniques
For most pilots the arrival of spring
is a joyous occasion. By the time the
temperatures start to moderate, the
burdens of winter operations have,
at least for folks like me, who are
in their vintage years, become very
old. Unless you reside in places like
Florida, Arizona, or Southern Cali
fornia, by the time spring beckons,
you are most likely tired of having
to bundle up to the point of immo
bility to be comfortable while you
preflight your airplane. You are prob
ably weary of having to preheat not
only the engine but also the cock
pit of your airplane. Perhaps you 're
ready to scream if you have to de-ice
your airplane one more time before
you can go flying.
With the advent of spring, you
no longer notice the lack of warmth
that the primitive heating system of
your pride and joy failed to deliver.
Now that you no longer have to wear
those felt-pac boots, your feet can fi
nally renew their acquaintance with
the rudder pedals that for the past
few months you never really felt.
Whereas the onset of spring is
cause for celebration, especially after
a long, cold winter, for those of us
operating out of airports with grass
or dirt runways, spring does pres
ent a few challenges, especially if
your airport is located in a northern
clime. During the winter, perhaps
the runway was covered in snow and
you were able to operate with skis.
Maybe the turf or gravel runway was
plowed, and in that case it was prob
ably frozen harder than, though not
necessarily as smooth as, concrete.
30 APR I L 2009

But now, as the temperatures start

to warm up and the frost goes out
of the ground, that runway can turn
into a quagmire.
It is quite possible that there might
potentially be a week or two when
the runway will become unusable,

.. . spring does
present a few
especially if your
airport is located in
a northern clime.
because it is so soft that even taxi
ing on it would leave axle-deep ruts.
But the time will definitely come
when the runway, although soft,
will be usable and your eagerness to
be airborne, overwhelming. It is at
this point in time that you had bet
ter have your soft-field takeoff and
landing techniques down pat. Since
that time of year is upon us, let's re
view the soft-field techniques that
we need to use.
Our techniques have to start from
the moment we begin our taxi. If the
field conditions are truly soggy, you
won't be able to come to a stop from

the moment you begin to taxi until

you apply full takeoff power and be
gin your takeoff roll. When dealing
with those conditions, it would be
best if you have completed your run
up and before-takeoff checks prior to
starting your taxi.
If you are not sure of the proper
soft-field takeoff configuration for
your airplane, refer to the pilot's op
erating handbook (if one indeed ex
ists for your airplane) to find out. For
most airplanes with flaps it is typical
to have anywhere from 10 to 2S de
grees of flaps deployed, which will
aid you in getting airborne as quickly
as possible.
Regardless of whether you are fly
ing a tricycle-gear or a tailwheel air
plane, you will need to maintain full
back-pressure on the stick or yoke
all the time you are taxiing. In the
case of the nosedragger, you are en
deavoring to keep the nose wheel
as "light" as possible, thus keeping
it from sucking into the muck and
bringing you to a stop.
It is quite possible that it will re
quire full power just to taxi. If that
is truly the case, you might want to
reconsider whether you will really be
able to accelerate to flying speed. It
might be best to taxi back to your tie
down or hangar and wait a few more
days for things to dry out some more.
That would be much better than get
ting out on the runway and rutting
it up and perhaps even getting stuck.
Assuming that you can indeed
keep your taxi going, ensure that no
one is on final approach as you con
tinue onto the runway without stop

ping. Don't ever relax pressure on the

stick as you smoothly apply full take
off power. Remember, our purpose
here is to get into the air as quickly
as possible. No matter where the lit
tle wheel is, either front or back, we
have to keep the stick all the way
back as we start the takeoff roll.
In the case of the tricycle-geared
airplane, we want to get the nose
wheel out of the muck and mire as
quickly as possible. As we accelerate,
we will need to slowly relax the back
pressure once the nose wheel starts
to lift, and then maintain the same
pitch attitude that keeps the nose
wheel just off the ground, until we
lift off.
Once we lift off, we now have to
level off and accelerate while we are
still in ground effect. If we don't re
lax pressure on the yoke, reducing
the angle of attack, the possibility is
high you will climb out of ground
effect, stall, and find yourself back
in the mire. Once Vx (if obstacles are
present) or Vy speed is achieved, the

rest of the climb-out is the same as

for any other takeoff.
But as the old saying goes: what
goes up must come down, and so we
now have to deal with landing back
on this sodden piece of terra not-so
firma. As long as we use the proper
techniques, there is no need for terror
of the un-firma. The important thing
to remember here is that it is neces
sary to keep the approach speed slow,
no faster than 1.3 times Vso' and to
touch down as lightly as possible.
It might be necessary to fly a steep
approach if obstacles are present.
Even if there are no obstacles, it is
easier to fly a slow, steep approach
than it is to drag it in slowly on a
low approach. Either way, just be
sure to be lion target ... on speed."
Many pilots will add just a touch of
power as they break the glide and
dissipate the energy. Keeping the
nose high, they cut the power just as
the main wheels touch down. This
allows them the soft touchdown that
is needed. (In many ways this is very

Lead Scavenger

similar to the "glassy water landing"

of a seaplane.)
But "it ain't over 'til it's over," as
Yogi Berra used to say, and the fat
lady hasn't even cleared her throat
yet. Unless you want to be "clearing
the throat" of your airplane, it is im
perative that you keep the stick all
the way back, keeping the nose wheel
out of the mud (or the airplane from
nosing over, if the little wheel is in
the back) for as long as possible. It
might very well be possible that you
will need to add some power to keep
the taxi roll going.
So there are the techniques for a
soft-field takeoff and landing. But
then I have to ask ... how many of
you are ever going to operate into
or out of an airport that is really
that soft? How many of you are ea
ger to coat your beautiful bird with
a layer of slime and goo? In fact it is
quite possible that the only time you
will use these techniques is during a
flight review, or practical test. Unfor
continued on page 39

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

3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your answer needs
to be in no later than May 15 for inclusion in the July
2009 issue of Vintage Airplane.

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

answer to Be sure to include your
name plus your city and state in the body of your note
and put "(Month) Mystery Plane" in the subject line.



APRIL 2009

We didn't get a single correct

answer for the January Mystery
Plane. A few folks wondered if
it was a Ryan Brougham, but it's
not. It is the 19Z8 Neilsen Steel
Aircraft Company's Golden Bear,
X883E, which www.Aerofiles.
com also refers to as the N C-l,
or Coach. On the Aerofiles site,
there 's a photo of the NC-l cred
ited to William T. Larkins. There's
also an intriguing entry attrib
uted to Richard Korman:
"Destroyed by an angry crowd
at a 'thrill show' at Oakland
Speedway in August 1939 after its
performance failed to meet their
expectations . A second one, with
300-hp WrightJ-6, was reportedly
under construction at the time,
but its history is unknown . Fac
tory was at Berkeley's then-new
airport by San Francisco Bay."
Destroyed by an angry crowd?
Wow! By then the airplane, a
smaller Ryan Brougham look
alike, was 10 years old. I wonder
what they expected? If any of our
West Coast members can add to
this story, we'd love to share it
with the rest of the membership.
Powered by the 130-hp Comet
7D seven-cylinder radial, the 37
liZ-foot wingspan carried a useful
load of 800 pounds. The Comet
engine was built in a plant next
to the Gisholt Machine Company
in Madison, Wisconsin, after the
Comet Engine Corporation was
re-formed from the Aircraft En
gine Company of Oakland, Cali
fornia. This engine would have
been brand new when it was used
on the then-new Golden Bear,
which would have sold for $7,500
if any beyond the prototype had
been built at the factory at the
Berkeley, California, airport.
Other than the mention that
there may have been a second
NC-l under construction, we
know nothing else about the
Neilsen Steel Aircraft Company
and its cabin airplane.







May 2-3
May IS-17

2.S days

May 16-17
June 13-14
June 26-28

2.5 days

June 27-28


Composite Construdion, Eledri(al Systems
& Avionks, Bask Sheet Metal, Test Flying
Your Projed What's Involved in Kitbuilding
Von's RV Assembly
ELSA Repairman Inspedion-Airplane
(16 houHourse)
Von's RV Assembly
Von's RV Assemb~
ELSA Repairman Inspedion-Airplane
(16 hour (ourse)
Fabri( Covering

Detroit, MI

Oshkosh, WI
Oshkosh, WI
Arlington, WA
Wa(o, TX
Wa(o, TX
Frederkk, MD

See online schedule for additional upcoming classes


OR CALL 1-800-967-5746 FOR DETAILS

EAA SportAir Sponsors:







An Ethanol Test Kit

Making certain your fuel isn't tainted with alcohol




Recently, here in the northwest

ern United States, I paid $5.53 a
gallon for 100LL avgas for my air
plane. Years ago I had obtained a
supplemental type certificate (STC)
for using auto fuel in my airplane
engine. My engine is a Continental
0-300A and was designed to run
on 80/87 avgas, which is no longer
available. During 35 years of flying
in the Alaskan bush, self-fueling
was a way of life for me because if
you don't self-fuel, you won't get
far from your local airstrip!
Several knowledgeable sources
recommend using a mixture of
widely available 100LL and auto
fuel for these older engines ow
ing to the problem of spark plug
fouling or lead deposits from the
high lead content in lOOLL. Earl
Lawrence, EAA's vice president
of industry and regulatory affairs
and an engineer who has been in
volved in EAA's fuel STC program
for many years, tells us that a 75
percent autogas/25 percent 100LL
mix approximates the maximum
lead level allowed in the old 80/87
avgas (when using the tetraethyl
lead levels as specified in ASTM
specification D9lO).

The present administration's en

ergy poliCies require the increased
production of ethanol from corn .
Even with EAA's constant push to
keep at least one grade of auto fuel
ethanol-free, ethanol will find its
way in increasing amounts into
our auto gasoline supply. Since
the regulations can also be locally
driven, across the United States
the requirements for use vary from
optional to "must have" in all
grades. In the distant past, etha
nol had been mixed with gasoline
during the winter months to help
improve air quality. With the in
creased price of a barrel of oil, we
will see an increased use of ethanol
in our auto fuel supplies all year
long and, unfortunately, in some
states, in all auto fuels. Given the
current trend in fuel production,
the price of both autogas and av
gas is probably only going to get
worse over the long run.
Chemically, ethyl alcohol, the
main ingredient in ethanol , is
completely miscible with water;
that means it is capable of being
mixed in all proportions with wa
ter, and it does this almost imme
diately when the two liquids are

brought together. The other prop

erty of ethanol that is of most con
cern to us it that it degrades or
corrodes airplane fuel lines, fuel
injectors, and carburetors.
The problem for us aviators is
that in its normal state, you can
not visually detect if any ethanol is
in the auto fuel. If you plan to use
unleaded auto fuel in your supple
mental type certificated airplane,
or are considering getting an STC
owing to high avgas fuel prices,
you must check the fuel to be cer
tain it does not contain ethanol.
That brings us to the little eth
anol-in-fuel test kit. I know many
of you have seen the label on the
fuel pump, but are you willing to
trust your airplane and your per
sonal well being to a 10-cent label
on a pump at Joe's Mini-Mart? Test
your auto fuel, and be sure it's not
modified with ethanol!

After testing for ethanol you need

a ladder to support your weight ,
a fire extinguisher, self-venting 5
gallon containers, and a large fun
nel with a chamois attached.

When a ladder is not available, an

aftermarket step attached to the
Cessna strut provides a place to
put your foot to maintain balance.

The funnel in the Cessna wing

tank ready to accept fuel. Note the
clamps holding the chamois skin to
the funnel.


APRIL 2009

The Test Kit

Here's what you do. Buy some ol
ives or pickles or some other prod
uct that comes in a small, tall glass
bottle. Empty the contents. Rinse
out the jar and dry it. Take a per
manent ink marker or black paint

alta 8 to 'ClJ. of tlta 19J9 oVa.tlona./ c1El'C d{p.C!a~

The only in-depth DVD Story of the 1939 National Air Races available!

A90 min., in-depth, narrated story

Includes 45 min. of outstanding COLOR film
Also, 300 archival photos
Military aerial maneuvers
lf you see labels such as these on
auto fuel pumps, do NOT use that
gasoline in your airplane.

Thompson, Greve, and Bendix Races

Aerobatic acts, it's all here!

0'''. ~~~

www.NationaIAirRaces .net

and carefully mark a line around

the bottle about a quarter or third
of the way up from the bottom.
An ultra-fine-point Sharpie marker
works great for this. You are now
ready to tell if any of your auto fuel
has ethanol. First, of course, you'll
need a water source, so get yo ur
self some of the ubiquitous small
water bottles that are available ev
erywhere, and buy a small syringe.
Now go to your favorite auto fuel
station that does not have an etha
nol label (of course) and buy your
auto fuel. I use self-venting 5
gallon containers to fuel my auto
fuel STC'd Cessna 170.

The Test
Carefully pour water into your
marked bottle until the water just
touches the marked line. Now us
ing a bulb syringe, or basting bulb,
transfer enough gasoline from your
S-gallon auto fuel container into
your marked bottle. Put on the cap
and shake well. Then let the fluid
settle. If there is no ethanol in the
gasoline, the water in your little
test bottle will still be at the marked
line on your test bottle. If there is
ethanol in the auto fuel, the etha
nol would have combined with the
water, thus increasing the appar
ent volume of water, and the level
of the water at the bottom of the
bottle would be above your mark
on your test bottle. If the water
alcohol (ethanol) level is above
your mark, then DO NOT USE that
auto fuel in your airplane.

Fueling your airplane can be dan

gerous. There are a few precautions

you should take if you intend to
fuel your own airplane. A few safety
steps are as follows:
First check with your local air
port officials to see if self-fueling is
Use a sturdy ladder-one de
signed to hold your weight plus the
weight of 5 gallons of fuel.
Use a chamois skin inside your
funnel as a filter to prevent any
water from entering the gas tank.
I used large clamps to fasten the
chamois to the funnel.
Use a large metal funnel that
will hold a rather large quantity of
Have a fire extinguisher close at
hand. I always try to have someone
standing by with a fire extinguisher
to help if needed.
Place each container on the
ground first and then touch the
container to a metal part of the air
plane to ensure a good ground con
nection to eliminate any possibility
of a static electricity spark.

Final Thoughts
If you are as aware as I am of the
increasing fuel costs, then maybe
now is the time for you to give seri
ous thought to getting an STC for
your airplane engine, if your en
gine can operate safely on auto fuel.
The savings are nearly one dollar a
gallon. With that kind of savings,
pretty soon you are talking about
real money.
Remember, if you do get an STC
to use auto fuel in your airplane,
then the responsibility for safety

Only 528.95

+ 5&R



transfers to you.
The challenge for us aviators will
be to seek out auto fuel sources that
do not contain ethanol. That may
require you to test the gasoline at
several auto fuel service stations.
For this and more information
go to .
I particularly urge you to read
the associated documents whose
links are posted on both the right
and left sides of that webpage.
They explain in greater detail the
issues related to auto fuel use in
aircraft, and will expand your
knowledge on why using fuels
tainted with ethanol is a bad idea
in aircraft commercially produced
to date. When properly designed
and manufactured, internal com
bustion engines and fuel systems
run well on ethanol, but the air
craft we are flying were not de
signed with these issues in mind,
nor the eng in e and accessories.
In addition, the extreme environ
mental changes that take place
during an aircraft flight preclude
the use of the ethanol-based fuel.
Fly smart and check your auto
Auto fuel STCs for the airframe and engine
can be obtained from :

EM Flight Research Center

Attn: Auto Fuel STC

1145 W. 20th Ave .

Oshkosh, WI 549026649


920-426-4881 (Fax)

Petersen Aviation

984 K Road

Minden, Nebraska 68959


todd@gtmc. net



continued from page 4

construction decision that we make,"

Taylor says. Those principles, de
lineated in EM's site-enhancement
planning document, are:
Culture-Continue to reflect the
core values and attributes of EAA
Safety-Enhance attendees' safe
ty by incorporating restricted
vehicle zones and thoroughfares
that separate pedestrian and ve
hicle traffic.
Quality-Improve amenities such
as camping facilities, restrooms,
shade, and relaxation areas in keep
ing with modern-day expectations.
Convenience-Make the site
easier to navigate using better site
layout, roadways, wayfinding aids,
and tram services.
Fun and interesting-Provide
participants a wider array of eve
ning-activity venues, more oppor
tunities for social interaction, and
expanded educational exhibits.
Growth-Address current and fu
ture demand for additional exhibit
space and upgraded visitor amenities.
Look for continuing updates
on and in EAA

Last Month's Racers

In the caption for last month's back cover identifying the racers
shown on the ramp at Cleveland, two racers are missing from that list.
Here is the full list:
The racers pictured on the back cover are (by race number/CAA reg
istration number, and from left to right): 40, N1210M, Thompson,
Screaming Meany; 39, N24C, Keith Sorensen, Dearfly; 63, N5541N, Ace
of Diamonds; 97, N9059H, Denight Special, DDT; 94, N68732, Al Foss
Special, Ginny; 51, N2E, Johnson, Betty /0; 4, N21C, Cosmic Wind, Min
now; 20, NX14855, Wittman, Buster; 35, NlOE, Coonley, Little Toot; 67,
NX5111H, D. Long, Midget Mustang; 29, N138C, Lawrence Tech, L.I. T.;
3, N20C, Cosmic Wind, Little Toni; 92, N60089, Bill Falk, Rivets; 10,
N1E, Kensinger-Corkill, Tater Chip; 47, N66317, Pack Model C, Lil Reb
el; I , NX1292, Wittman Bonzo; 5, N22C, Cosmic Wind, Ballerina; 34,
N44183, Williams, Estrellita; 14, N74J, Miller, Little Gem.

VAA Hangar Project Moves Ahead

March 16 saw the erection of the first walls for the new Vintage Hangar being built to host the type clubs, work
shops, and other events during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. The prolonged winter weather that set in after the founda
tion footings were poured prevented the construction crews from building the walls for the building on-site, so they
were put together in a warehouse in Ripon, Wisconsin. When the weather finally broke, the pieces were trucked to
the site and assembly began. The building is scheduled to be ready for volunteers to perform interior finish work
by April 30. Look for regular updates on the VAA website at www.

EM Calendar of Aviation Events Is Now Online

EAA's online Calendar of Events is the "go-to"
spot on the Web to list andfind 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 giventime within acertain
radius of any airport by entering the identifier or a
ZIPcode, and you can further define your search to
look for just the types of events you'd like to attend.
We invite you to access the EAA online Calendar
of Events at http://www.eaa.orgfcalendarj

Upcoming Major Fly-Ins

Aero Friedrichshafen
Messe Friedrichshafen, Frledrichshafen, Germany
April 2-5, 2009


got the idea from Ponce.

It's called rejuvenadon, and it works great with real
dope finishes. Spray our rejuvenator over aged dope;
it soaks in and restores flexibility for years of added
life. It can even hide hairline cracks. And no finish
has the foot-deep luster of
authentic polished dope.
Roll back the calendar on
your plane's finish!

Sun 'n Fun Fly-In

Lakeland Under Regional Airport (LAl), Lakeland, FL
April 21-26, 2009


Virginia Regional Festival of Flight

Suffolk Executive Airport (SFQ), Suffolk, VA
May 30-31, 2009
Golden West Regional Fly-In
Yuba County Airport (Myv), Marysville, CA
June 12-14, 2009
Arlington Fly-In
Arlin9ton Municipal Airport (AWO), Arlington, WA
July 8-12, 2009



EAA AirVenture Oshkosh

Wittman Regional Airport (OSH), Oshkosh, WI
July 27-August 2, 2009

"It 's a ll right! T here's

t he Pol~-Fiber stamp!
Go ahead a nd g}ve'er
the gun!"

Colorado Sport International Air Show

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

And the rest is history.

Mid-Eastern Regional Fly-In

Grimes Field Airport (174), Urbana, OH
September 12-13, 2009
Copperstate Regional Fly-In
Casa Grande Municipal Airport (CGZ), Casa Grande, PZ
October 22-25, 2009
Southeast Regional Fly-In
Middleton Field Airport (GZH), Evergreen, AL
October 23-25, 2009
For details on EAA chapter fty-ins and other local
aviation events, visit www.EAA.orglevents.

You don't have to be a

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and joy. Just follow the clear detailed instructions in our
ente~ manual. Before you can say "Hocus-pocus!"
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off and bra~ about for years to come. You don't need
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Aircraft CoaUng.



Something to buy,
sell , or trade?
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 discount s.
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 insert ion 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 (classa ds@
eaa.orm using cred it 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.

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

Flying wires available. 1994 pricing. Visit or call 800


Always Flying Aircraft Restoration, LLC

A&P I.A.: Annual, 100 hr. inspections.

Wayne Forshey 740-472-1481

Ohio - statewide.

tee recently approved the Federal

Aviation Administration (FAA)
Reauthorization Act of 2009 (H.R.
915), a funding bill that does not
contemplate new user fees for gen
eral aviation. Let's all stay vigilant as
well as vocal on these new and con
tinuing threats to our civil liberties.
Things arou nd the VAA Chapter
37 Club House have been quite busy
of late. I am pleased to report to the
membership that the restoration of
Harold Neumann's 90AW Mono
coupe Little Mulligan has been pro
gressing very well.
We are hanging a lot of pieces
back on the airframe. The doors are
being framed up and re-skinned. The
instrument panel is also now com
plete and ready for re-installation .
All of the wood formers are now back
on the airframe, and the first coat of
varnish has been installed. The inte
rior wood trim is also in place, and
fabric will soon be installed to com
plete the rear window and hat rack
area of the interior.
Pulleys, control cables, and con
trol mechanisms are next on our list.
Once the rigging is in place we will
cover the airframe. It is really gratify
ing to watch the momentum build
over time with this project. We hope
to maintain our current pace with this
project so we can have it on display in

the restoration shop at the new Vin

tage Hangar facility. Many thanks
to Mr. Phil Riter, who heads up this
project as chairman. The core group
has grown quite a bit in the past five
months, as there are now more than
10 volunteers who consistently show
up on each work weekend. These
committed and talented individuals
all have unique capabilities, and they
just tend to migrate to jobs that fit
their talents and the job gets done.
Our sincere get-well wishes go
out to Audrey Poberezny, who took
a fa ll in her home in February. Au
drey is mending quite nicely, and
we wish her a speedy recovery. Get
well wishes also go out to Vintage
Aircraft Association Director John
Behrendt, who had bypass surgery
in early February. John is on the
mend, and we hope to see him at
the upcoming board meeting.
Please do us all the favor of inviting
a friend to join the VAA and help keep
us the strong association we have all
enjoyed for so many years now.
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009,
The World's Greatest Aviation Cel
ebration, is July 27 through August
VAA is about participation: Be a
member! Be a volunteer! Be there!


Flight Comes

Members get in FREE!

Phone: (920)426-4818



APRIL 2009


Copyright Dave Brown 2009

continued from page 31

tunately I see this as leading to a po

tential disaster.
Almost every pilot and instructor
will use the technique of adding a lit
tle power during the flare to soften
the landing. If you are indeed inten
tionally landing on a truly soft sur
face-such as a sodden grass runway,
or perhaps off airport on a beach or
other unpaved surface of unknown
consistency-and it is long enough to
allow the extended landing that the
addition of power might lead to, then
that technique is fine.
But for the vast majority of pilots,
the only time they might be landing
on a soft surface-such as a mucky
meadow, or a sandy beach, or a re
cently plowed field-is after the en
gine has gone quiet, and refuses to
restart, and the airplane has turned
into a glider. As Murphy would have
it, it might be that th e only place
available to land is a very soft field.
To add to the problem, it might have

trees at both ends, or power lines, or

some other type of obstacle. And if
Murphy is really having sway, it prob
ably isn't too terribly long.
For those pilots who have only
practiced soft-field landings using
power to cushion the landing, they
might now find themselves nose
deep in doo-doo. So I wo uld sug
gest that you learn and practice the
techniques of a power-off soft-field/
short-field/steep approach landing.
Learn how to effectively use either
a forward slip and/or flaps to con
trol your glide path. Your only way
to con trol your speed will be with
pitch. By combining pitch, configu
ration, and the use of the forward
slip, you will find that you can still
remain lion target, on speed./I
The timing of breaking the glide
in a power-off or dead-stick soft
field landing is critical. You need to
have enough energy left to hold the
nose high through the touchdown
and rollout. Be sure that you don't

break the glide too high or you will

find yourself running out of energy,
and now you won't be able to keep
the nose up, as required, through
the touchdown. Obviously flaring
too late might very well end up with
the airplane inelegantly inverted in
terra unfirma.
So with the arrival of spring and
the softening of winter retreating be
hind us, it is important to be aware
of the proper soft-field techniques.
Remember that even if you do not
normally operate off of a nonpaved
runway, the situat ion might occur
that results in your having to land on
a surface that is anything but hard.
Knowing, practicing, and being profi
cient in the proper techniques will al
low you to get up in the air to enjoy ...
blue skies and tail winds.
Doug Stewart is the 2004 National
CFI of the Year, a Master Instructor,
and a designated pilot examiner. He
operates DSFI Inc. (www.DSFlight.
com), based at the Columbia County
A irport (lBl).


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Pres ident
Geoff Robison
152 1 E. MacG rego r Dr.

Vice-Presiden t

George Dau bner


2448 Lough Lan e

H artford, W I 53027


Steve Nesse

Charles W. Harri s

New Haven, IN 46774

260-4934 724

2009 Highl and Ave.

Albert I.ea, MN 56007
507373- 1674

72 15 East 46th St .

Tulsa, OK 74147

9 18622-8400

cwh@h v5u .com

Steve Bende r

Dale A. G usta fson

85 Brush H ill Road

Sh erborn, MA 0 1770
sst J()@co m CQs t .l1et

7724 Sh ady Hills Dr.

Indi anap olis, IN 46278

David Be n nett

375 Killdeer Ct

Li ncoln, CA 95648


antiqller@il1reac/J, com

Jeannie H ill

P.O. Box 328

H arva rd, IL 60033-0328

8 15-943-7205

john Berendt

7645 Echo Point Rd.

Cannon Fa lls, MN 55009

507-263-24 14


Esp ie "Butch " j oyce

704 N. Regiona l Rd .

Green sboro, NC 27409



Jerry Brow n

4605 Hickory Wood Row

Green wood, IN 46 143



Da n Knutson

106 Ten a Marie Circle

Lodi, WI 53555

608 592-7224

/odi cub@charter.lIet

Dave Cla rk

635 Vestal Lane

Pl ainfield, IN 46168



Steve Krog

1002 H ea ther Ln .

Hartfo rd, WI 53027



joh n 5. Copeland

I A Deacon Street

Northborough, MA 0 1532


copelmul l

Robert D. " Bob" Lu mley

1265 South 124th St.
Brookfield, W I 53005

Phi l Coulson

284 15 Springb rook D r.

Lawton, M I 49065


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S. H . " Wes" Schmi d

2359 Lefebe r Avenue
Wauwa tosa, W I 532 13
414-77 1- 1545
shschm id@gmai /.com



Robert C. Brauer
9345 S. Hoyn e
Chicago, IL 60643
805 782-97\3
pllotopilut@aol .com

E.E. " Bu ck" H ilbert

8 \02 Leech Rd.
Union, IL 60180
8 15-923-459 1

Gene Ch ase
2159 Ca rlto n Rd.
Osh kos h, W I 54904
920-23 1-5002

Gen e Morris

5936 Steve Cou rt

Roa n oke, TX 76262

8 17-49 1-9 1 IO


1540 I Spa rta Ave.
Kent City, M I 49330
6 16678-5012
rFri t z@path waynet .com

Jo h n Turgyan
ro Box 2 19
New Egypt, Nj 08533
609-758-29 10

Membershi:R Services Directory



~. .Z1. .~

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

Phone (920) 426-4800

Fax (920) 426-4873

Web Sites: www.vintageaircra{,, www.eaa.orglmemberbenefits E-Mail: vintageaircra(

EAA and Division Membership Services (8:00 AM-7:00 PM
Monday-frlday CST)
FAX 920-426-4873
-New/ renew memberships -Address changes -Merchandise sales -Gift memberships
EM AirVenture Osh kosh
Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Hotline 877 359-1232
Programs and Activities
Auto Fuel STCs
Education/ Aeroscho lars
- EM Air Academy
- EM Scholarships
Right Instructor information
920-426-6801 nafi
Library Services/Research
AUA Vintage Insurance Plan
800-727 3823
EM Aircraft Insurance Plan
866-6474322 memberbenefits
800-853-5576 ext. 8884
EM Hertz RentA-Car Program
EM Enterprise Rent-A-Car Program
877421 3722
VAA Office
FAX 920-426-6579

888-EAA-INFO (3224636)

EAA Members Information Une

Use this tollfree number for: information about AirVenture Oshkosh; aeromedical and technical aviation questions;

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

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




Membership in the Experimental Aircraft

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

Current EAA members may join the

International Aerobatic Club, Inc. Divi
sion and receive SPOR T AER OBATICS
magazine for an additional $45 per year.
ICS magazine and one year membership
in the lAC Division is available for $55
per year (SPOR T AVIATION magazine
not included). (Add $18 for Fo reign


Current EAA members may add EAA
SPORT PILOT magazine for an additional
$20 per year.
EAA Membership and EAA S P OR T
PILOT magazine is available for $40 per
year (SPOR T AVIATION magazine not ineluded). (Add $16 for Foreign Postage,)


Current EAA members may join the
Vintage Aircraft Association and receive
VINTAGE AIRPLANE magaZine for an ad
ditional $36 per year.
magazine and one year membership in the EAA
Vintage Aircraft Association is available for $46
per year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not in
eluded). (Add $7 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, WA RBIRDS maga
zine and one year membership in th e
Warbirds Division is available for $55 per
year (SPORT AVIATION magaZine not ineluded). (Add $7 fo r Foreign Pos tage,)

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Copyright @2009 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
VINTAGE AIRPLANE (USPS 062-750; ISSN OO9t -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 64903-3086, 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 64901 and at additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER: Send address changes
to Vintage Airplane, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 64903-3086. PM 40063731 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to P~ney Bowes IMS, Station A, PO Box 64, Windsor, ON N9A 6J5. FOREIGN AND APO
ADDRESSES - Please allow at least !WO months for delivery of VINTAGE AIRPLANE to foreign and APO addresses via surface mail. ADVERTISING - Vintage Aircraft Association does not guarantee or endorse
any product offered through the advertising. We invite constructive criticism and welcome any report of inferior merchandise obtained through our advertising so that corrective measures can be taken.
EDITORIAL POLICY: Members are encouraged to subm~ stories and photographs. Policy opinions expressed in articles are solely those of the authors. Responsibility for accuracy in reporting rests entireiy
with the contributor. No remuneration is made. Material should be sent to: Ed~or, VINTAGE AIRPLANE, PO Box 3086, Oshkosh, WI 64903-3086. Phone 920-428-4800.
EAA and EAA SPORT AVIATION, the EAA Logo and Aeronautica T. are registered trademarks, trademarks, and service marl<s 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.


APRIL 2009