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The Henleys Mark,

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

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

Thanks AUA

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

Aviation insurance with the EAA Vintage Program offers:

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

Flexibility on the use of your aircraft


Experienced agents


Remember, Were Better Together!

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

Fly with the pros fly with AUA Inc.

Vol. 39, No. 9




Straight & Level

A wonderful week and a heartfelt set of thank-yous
by Geoff Robison


Friends of the Red Barn 2011

A Handsome 1947 Piper Super Cruiser

Paying tribute to aviations role in pipeline patrol
by Sparky Barnes Sargent


Lloyd Stearman
His airplanes and his legacy
by Philip Handleman


Tribute to a Classic
Focke-Wulf Fw.44J Stieglitz reborn in Germany
by Stefan Degraef and Edwin Borremans


Light Plane Heritage

De Havillands Little Birch
by Bob Whittier


The Vintage Instructor

Its all in the feet
by Steve Krog, CFI



The Vintage Mechanic

Engine cowls for drag reductionPart 2
by Robert G. Lock


Mystery Plane
by H.G. Frautschy


Classified Ads


EAA Publisher
Director of EAA Publications
Executive Director/Editor
Production/Special Project
Copy Editor
Senior Art Director

Rod Hightower
Mary Jones
H.G. Frautschy
Kathleen Witman
Jim Koepnick
Colleen Walsh
Olivia P. Trabbold

Publication Advertising:
Manager/Domestic, Sue Anderson
Tel: 920-426-6127
Fax: 920-426-4828
Senior Business Relations Mgr, Trevor Janz
Tel: 920-426-6809


FRONT COVER: The versatile Piper PA-12 Super Cruiser has served a variety of roles in its
60+ years of flying. This particular PA-12 has been a part of Jim Adams family since 1963,
and its fresh restoration pays tribute to the Gleason Romans Pipe Line Patrol Company. Read
more about it by turning to Sparky Barnes Sargents story starting on page 6. EAA Photo by
Mike Steineke.

Manager/European-Asian, Willi Tacke

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

Interim Coordinator/Classified, Alicia Canziani

Tel: 920-426-6860

BACK COVER: Vintage aviation in Europe is alive and well; heres a restoration of one the
Continents rarest aircraft, a Focke-Wulf Fw.44J. Stefan DeGraff and Edwin Borremans tell us
all about the challenges of restoring a World War II era biplane starting on page 20.



Geoff Robison

A wonderful week and a

heartfelt set of thank-yous
t was really rejuvenating to get
out of town for a good long
while and take some time in
aviations mecca. It was great to
visit with all of my wonderful aviation friends from across the globe.
We all experienced many fantastic
events at Oshkosh this year, and it
is always a highlight to share them
with so many of the attendees at AirVenture every year, but this was really
one of the best. As Bob Hope always
sang, Thanks for the memories.
This years event was really fun for
me. We saw some wonderful aircraft
restorations come our way, and they
kept our judges pretty busy. Capping off the week was the spectacular Saturday night air show; it was
everything it was promised to be. I
have personally witnessed some really amazing fireworks in my days,
but never have I seen such a unique
pyrotechnics show as we had during
this years AirVenture. The devices
they are setting off are far more advanced than what we normally see at
the local 4th of July fireworks show;
it was nothing short of phenomenal!
Great show, guys! It was a real crowdpleaser. Spread the word, and be sure
to visit and click
on Top Videos of AirVenture 2011,
then select Night Ballet.
Next years event, as always, is already in the planning stages. The
2012 event will commemorate the
75th anniversary of the venerable
Piper Cub. Plan to observe a virtual
sea of yellow airplanes all parked
together in the Type Club parking
area in the Vintage area. This will
prove to be a special event that you
will definitely want to see. Imagine


a single field with at least 100 Cubs

all parked together. The response
from the many Cub owners has already been quite impressive. Be sure
to come and join in the fun! P.S. If
your Cub isnt yellow, thats quite all
right; weve got a spot for you, too!
Feel free to join us.
Congratulations to the staff and
leadership of EAA for yet again putting together such an excellent event
for us all to enjoy. I dont know how
you continue to do this each year,
but it just seems to always to be better
than the last one. Of course, I cant
fail to mention here the many volunteers who show up every year and
give so much of their time to the organization to assist us in making it all
happen. Your collective and individual efforts are so greatly appreciated.
We hope to see you all back next year
for yet another week of great fun.
As many of you are aware, each
year the Vintage Aircraft Association
issues two prestigious awards to recognize our VAA Volunteers of the
Year. This years Flight Line Volunteer
of the Year was awarded to longtime
VAA volunteer Dale Masters. Dale,
your dedicated service to this organization is greatly appreciated, and you
are very deserving of this recognition.
Our Behind the Scenes award went
to another longtime VAA volunteer.
She stepped forward several years
ago and took on the responsibility of
keeping the many Vintage flightline
volunteers watered and fed throughout each day of the weeklong event.
Pat Blake is another one of those tireless volunteers who spends countless hours each day running up and
down the line serving our volun-

teers not only food and beverages,

but also her friendly personality and
warm smile. You are greatly appreciated by all of our volunteers, Pat!
Thanks for your service. Along with
the award, each recipient of the Art
Morgan Memorial Volunteer of the
Year award receives a free one-year
membership to the Vintage Aircraft
Association and a commemorative
clock. Congratulations to you both!
I want to close this months column with a personal note recognizing
our past president and now current
chairman emeritus of EAA. As many
of you are now aware, Tom Poberezny
has elected to retire from his responsibilities with the EAA. Tom served
our parent organization admirably
throughout his tenure as president
since 1989, and has worked for EAA in
one capacity or another for a total of
49 years of service to the organization
his father founded in 1953. Throughout many of the years weve been in
Oshkosh I have had the distinct pleasure of working with him. No one has
ever done more for the Vintage Aircraft Association than Tom and his
father, Paul. I will sincerely miss working with him, and my memories of
our relationship will always be positive ones. Good luck and blue skies to
you in your retirement. The pleasure
has truly been all mine.
VAA is about participation: Be a
member! Be a volunteer! Be there! Do
yourself a favor and ask a friend to
join up with us. Lets all pull in the
same direction for the good of aviation. Remember, we are better together. Join us and have it all.

training attendance alone does not

satisfy those requirements.
2) Complete Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Form 8610-1,Mechanics Application for Inspection Authorization, in duplicate.
3) Show evidence the applicant
meets the requirements of 65.93(a)
for both the first and second year in
the form of an activity sheet or log,
training certificates, and/or oral test
results, as applicable.
According to the FAA, the requirement for other activity besides
a refresher training course has always been an FAA regulatory requirement per FAR 65.93(a) that requires the applicant continue to be
actively engaged as a mechanic
by meeting FAR 65.91 paragraphs
(c)(1) through (c)(4), but the documentation for that requirement has
been inconsistently applied by the
FAA field offices due to the previous definition lacking clarity. Part
of the reason for issuing the revised
policy is to make the requirement
for actively engaged beyond the
refresher course clearer. When revised the new language clarifying
the definition of actively engaged
within 8900.1 will read:
NOTE: Actively engaged means an
active role in exercising the privileges of
an airframe and powerplant mechanic
certificate in the maintenance of civil
aircraft. Applicants who inspect,
overhaul, repair, preserve, or
replace parts on aircraft, or
who supervise (i.e., direct and
inspect) those activities, are actively engaged. The ASI may use
evidence or documentation provided
by the applicant showing inspection,
overhauling, repairing, preserving, or
replacing parts on aircraft or supervision of those activities. This evidence
or documentation when required could
include employment records showing
performance or supervision of aircraft
maintenance, return to service documents, and/or copies of maintenance
record entries.
Technical instructors or individuals instructing in a FAA part 147 approved AMT school, who also engage
in the maintenance of aircraft certifi-


cated and maintained in accordance

with 14 CFR, can be considered actively engaged. Individuals instructing in a FAA part 147 AMT school,
who also engage in the maintenance
of aircraft-related instruction equipment maintained in accordance with
14 CFR standards, can be considered
actively engaged.
Read the second sentence carefully (weve put it in bold type); it
does not quantify the amount of
work that must be done, it simply
states that any of those activities
is viewed by the FAA as actively
engaged. In other words, if you
touch an aircraft once a year to perform maintenance within the scope
of practice as an A&P-IA, youve
met the definition of actively engaged and need only to meet the
requirements of 65.91 (the regulation under which an Inspection Authorization is initially issued) and
65.93 (a)(1), or (2), or (3), or (4), or
(5) to be eligible for renewal.
65.93 reads, in part:
(a)In addition, during the time
the applicant held the inspection authorization, the applicant must show
completion of one of the activities in Sec.
65.93(a)(1) through (5) below by March
31 of the first year of the 2-year inspection authorization period, and completion of one of the five activities during
the second year of the 2-year period:
As explained to us by the FAA,
this means that an A&P mechanic
with an inspection authorization
who performs a single annual, replaces a single part on an aircraft,
supervises A&P activities, etc. each
year (which means they are, as defined by the new note added to the
policy, now actively engaged)
and attends a yearly refresher
course during each one-year period
during the two-year renewal cycle
(one of the five activities listed in
65.93(a)) will be eligible for renewal
of his or her inspection authorization. The requirements for activity
have been met under 65.91(c)(2),
meaning that only one more of the
follow-up requirements for renewal
specified in 65.93(a)(1) through (5)
needs to be accomplished.

Well continue to monitor the

implementation of the new policy published for the FAAs Flight
Standards Management System
FAA Order 8900.1. Members who
are directly impacted by this policy
are encouraged to send us notes
describing their experiences at, or you can
post your comments on the VAAs
Red Barn section of the new EAA
Forums website,

Rod Hightower talks with members

about EAAs future during his
AirVenture forum.

Hightower Provides a Look

to the Future
EAA members can expect to see
a Young Eagles-style program for
adults and a national network of
flying clubs, said EAA President/
CEO Rod Hightower at his AirVenture forum.
The jury is still out on what
the adult eagles program will be
called, but Hightower noted that
many people have told him they
learned to fly after the age of 40.
They are very active pilots,
he said. As people get older, they
have a little more time and a little
more money on their hands to pursue a long-held dream.
Hightower didnt offer operational details on the adult phase
of the program, but he said those
are not the only enhancements in
store for the Young Eagles, which
has provided 1.6 million youngcontinued on page 38


Friends of the Red Barn 2011


Thank you for your generous donations!

Diamond Plus Level
Gordon Anderson
Charles W. Harris
Matt and Ken Hunsaker
Robert Bob Lumley
Bill and Saundra Pancake
Rick Princell
Wes Schmid
John R. Turgyan
VAA Chapter 10, Tulsa, OK

Diamond Level
Jonathan and Ronald Apfelbaum
John W. Cronin Jr.
Richard and Sue Packer
Ben Scott
Ronald E. Tarrson

Platinum Level
Robert Schjerven

Gold Level
Raymond Bottom
James Gorman
Drew Homan
Earl Nicholas
Arthur H. Kudner Jr. Fund

Silver Level
Jerry and Linda Brown
Dave and Wanda Clark
Lois Cohen

Al Hallett
Tom Hildreth
A.J. Hugo
Peter Jensen Jr.
John Kephart
Mark Kolesar
Sarah and Bill Marcy
Dan and Denise Osterhouse
Brad Poling
Roger P. Rose
Carson E. Thompson
Dwayne and Sue Trovillion

Bronze Level
Lloyd Austin
L. Tom Baker
Lt. Col. (Ret) Hobart Bates
Dennis and Barbara Beecher
Logan Boles
Gary Brossett
Charles Brownlow
Thomas Buckles
Charles Buckley
Robert Rob Busch
Steve Buss
John Carr
Gene Chase
Dan Dodds
Theo Embry
Rudy Frasca
Terry Grin
Red and Marilyn Hamilton

Bob Kellstrand
Rich Kempf
Dan and Mary Knutson
Marc Krier
Lynn and Gerry Larkin
Jimmy Leeward
Ballard Leins
Barry Leslie
Joseph Leverone Jr.
Gerald Liang
Russ Luigs
Thomas H. Lymburn
Helen Mahurin
Pzer Foundation
Roscoe Morton
Steve Moyer
Lynn Oswald
Steven and Judith Oxman
Dwain Pittenger
Tim and Liz Popp
Bob Porter
Ron Price
Jerry Riesz
John Rothrock Jr.
Ray Scholler
Jerey L. Shafer
Bob Siegfried, II
David Smith
Dean Stoker
Butch and Pat Tortorige
Robert Tyler
Thomas Vukonich

Jan Douglas Wolfe

Dan Wood
Wynkoop Airport

Supporter Level
Cam Blazer
Charles Burtch
Rolly Clark
Camille Cyr
Bruce Denney
Ge Galbari
Bruce Graham
Richard Heim
Barry Holtz
Keith Howard
George Jenkins
Walter Kahn
Peter Karalus
John Koons
James Lockwood
Jim Newhouse
Charles Pearcy
Keith Plendl
Frank Schelling
Chuck Schonberger
Bob and Sue Staight
Alan C. Thiel
Harland Verrill
Fred Warner
Robert Weber
Michael Williams


A Handsome 1947

Piper Super Cruiser

Paying tribute to aviations role in pipeline patrol




ou might say
that Jim Adams of Pontiac, Illinois,
is the proud
papa of
one handsome Piper Super Cruiser. After all, its
been part of his family
since 1963, and he just
completed its five and a
half year, ground-up restoration. A retired Delta pilot who finished his career
by flying Boeing 757s and
767s, Adams is one of those
gregarious fellows whose
affable laughter is contagious. Within minutes of
meeting him, its apparent
that hes, welljust having
too much fun, and loving
every moment.
His affinity for Cubs
star ted years ago, and
eventually precipitated his
airline career. He recalls:
I was a farm boy from
central Illinois, and some
of my earliest memories
are going with my bachelor uncle to air shows.
I had to sneak off as a
kidI was probably 14
and pay a guy to take
me for a ride, because
my mother would have
had a kitten if shed have
known! I just was in love
with it, he shares, laughing, and when I went
to the University of Illinois, I signed up for an
aviation program even
though I didnt have the
money. So I worked three
different jobs, carried a
full [course] load, stayed
up all night, and got
hooked on coffeebut I


got my private license! I soloed

an Aeronca Champ, immediately
followed by a J-3 Cub, and I have
loved Cubs ever since.

Piper Aircraft
Right after World War II, Piper
vigorously fulfilled a leading role in
supplying aircraft for the booming
civilian market. The PA-12 prototype was test-flown by Clyde Smith
Sr. in the fall of 1945, and the model
entered production in 1946. The
Super Cruiser sold well; there were
nearly 3,800 PA-12s built at Pipers
Lock Haven factory in Pennsylvania (and Ponca City, Oklahoma).
Writer Leighton Collins captured
the excitement of the day in his article Piper Super Cruiser (Air Facts
The Magazine for Pilots, May 1946):
It could be that its just spring, but
if you drop in at Lock Haven these
days you get a feeling that theres
something more going on in private
flying than just catching up on a
five-year dearth of new airplanes.


In 1947, a pair of these (modified) Pipers would add new meaning to the models name by making
a super cruise all the way around
the globe. George Truman and Clifford Evans departed Teterboro, New
Jersey, on August 9 and completed
their world flight when they landed
back at Teterboro on December
10. Their 25,162-mile flight took
122 days, 23 hours, 4 minutes and
demonstrated to the world the dependability and utility of private
airplanes. (A 1947 Global Flyer
The City of the Angels, Vintage Airplane, Vol. 34, No. 8, August 2006).
The three-place PA-12 was derived from the earlier 1942 J-5C Cub
Cruiser, and improvements included
a fuel tank in each wing, metal spars,
a new interior, and a streamlined
appearance. With a wingspan of 35
feet, 6 inches, it measured 23 feet, 1
inch from nose to tail. Powered by a
100-hp Lycoming O-235, it cruised at
105 mph, and with a 38-gallon fuel
capacity, offered it a 600-mile range



Jim Adams shows of f the engine

compar tmentcomplete with overhauled engine, new stainless firewall, and even a new boot cowl.
while burning 6 gph. It weighed
900 pounds empty and had a useful
load of 850 pounds. The PA-12 was
manufactured through 1947, when
the lightplane market fizzled due to


The aft section of the fuselage, after the old fabric was removed
note the wood stringers.
Close-up view of the old trim system.
decreased demand and overabundant supply.

Super Cruiser

Fuselage with fabric and metalized headliner.

The wing, with the original truss-style ribs.

NC2827M (s/n 12-1306) rolled

outside the Lock Haven factory
on December 17, 1946, just seven
months after a devastating flood
nearly swallowed the manufacturing plant, which was located in a valley alongside the Susquehanna River.
NC2827M was powered by a 100-hp
Lycoming O-235C, with a Sensenich
wood prop, according to the factorys final inspection form. Just two
days later, it was purchased by Henry
Brown of Rochelle, Illinois, and it
stayed in Illinois until 1954, when it
went to Wisconsin. It quickly went
through more than half a dozen
owners and remained in Wisconsin until September 1963, when the
Rossville Flyers of Illinois (Jim Adams
and Thomas Burwash) bought it.
We bought the plane in 1963,
when I was 25 years old, recalls
Adams, blue eyes twinkling, We
had a partnership, and then he
eventually put it in his name, but
I did the maintenance and hangared it, so it was still part mine.
He passed away, and I bought the
plane back in 1999. Now its in
my name and my daughter and
son-in-laws namesAmy and Paul
Lamermayerthey also fly.



The Super Cruiser, looking brand

new from nose to tail.

The wing and cowling have been painted Tennessee Red. (The pipeline patrol Super Cub that Adams sold to his friend is in the background.)


Restoration Inspiration


Updated avionics and radio were neatly combined with the original creamfaced instruments.

NC2827M left the factory with this engine; total time now is 1,368.4.

In 2004, it occurred to him that

it just might be a good idea to thoroughly rejuvenate NC2827M. I
had flown our grandkids in this
Super Cruiser and thought, This
thing has only been re-coveredits
never been completely torn down.
Maybe we ought to look at it. So
here it is, Tuesday, July 28 [2010],
at Oshkosh, and we just finished it
Friday! We flew it here on Sunday,
and it took us exactly one hour and
eight minutes. The engine and airframe total time is 1,368.4, and I
have all the logs, starting right with
the build sheet from the factory
Clyde Smith Jr. got that for me, and
Im really tickled with that! Ive got
every little piece of paper thats ever
had anything to do with it.
Adams decided to retain many of
the PA-12s original features, while
updating it for safety, utility, and
cabin comfort. He also owned a
PA-18 Super Cub at the time, and
the history of that particular airplane inspired him to finish the
PA-12 in such a way that it would
pay tribute to aviations role in the
pipeline patrol industry.
That Cub, N3286Z, belonged
to Gleason Romans of Tulsa, Oklahoma, back in the early 1960s. It
had the Gleason Romans Pipeline
Patrol Company logo on it, describes Adams, and a low oil pressure warning horn that would wake
the deadwhich was a good idea if

Fuselage with fabric and metalized headliner.

Right: Gleason Romans Pipe Line

Patrol Company logonote the multitasking bee peering through binoculars to detect oil leaks, and the oil
derrick in the background.

your nose was outside watching for

pipeline leaks!
Adams intended to finish the
PA-12, then restore the PA-18 so he
would have two airplanes to represent the role of pipeline patrol
planes in aviation history. But he
says he altered that plan when a
friend of mine, who had lost his
hangar and Cessna 195 in a fire,
came to me one day, and he said,
Jim, I want your Cub. I told him
it wasnt for sale, and a day later
he owned it. So anyway, I got hold
of Gleason Romans Jr., through a
friend, and asked him if I could use
his fathers company logo, and he
said it was okay.

The front cover of a Gleason Romans

Pipe Line Patrol Company catalog, the
logo and a photograph taken with the
aerial camera system he invented.

Romans Pipeline Patrol

In 1944, Gleason Romans Sr.
started a flying school and maintenance facility in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
He had five airplanes, which were
making money only on the weekends. I had to make some money
with them [during the week], so I
conceived the idea to use the planes
to patrol the pipelines.
He tested his idea in April 1945,
when he hopped into his Piper J-3
Cub for his first trial pipeline patrol flight. Accompanying him was
the chief engineer of Stanolind Oil
and Gas Company, to help Romans
determine the feasibility of aerial
patrol for the pipelines. Both par-

ties were pleased with the outcome,

and the engineer was enthusiastic
about this new aerial method of inspecting pipelines for oil leaks and
encroaching vegetation.
Romans then began cultivating
his concept into a thriving business.
His first patrol plane was a Taylorcraft L2M, which he modified with
an extra fuel tank and an additional
window in the cabin portion of the
fuselage. As he acquired additional
contracts with oil companies, he
continued hiring pilots and buying
patrol airplanes.
This entrepreneur continually
studied ways to enhance the effectiveness of his pipeline patrol, and
he developed some innovative devices. One of his inventions was a
mechanical, electrically stabilized
aerial camera system.
I built a camera and ran a
5-inch-wide raw film across the slit.
It photographed 240 miles of pipeline on one roll of film as the aircraft
flew over the pipeline. It was sort
of phenomenal, recalls Romans
with a chuckle, and the pipeline
companies liked it. We had to synchronize the camera with the aircraft, so another person would use
a view finder to regulate the speed
of the film as the pilot flew patrol.
We installed a gyro in it, and the
camera was mounted in a gimbaled
ring inside the airplanes belly, so
the camera stayed straight no matter what the airplane did. The pilot
flew at 2,000 feet AGL directly over
the right-of-way to take the picture.
That gave us a 1/2-mile width on the
picture, which the pipeline companies used to count houses along the
right-of-wayif it was a congested
area, or people lived too close to the
line, the companies were required to
reduce the pressure in it.
He also invented an electronic
system to radio transmit operating
data about ground-installed rectifier
devices (used along pipeline routes
to inhibit rusting of metal pipe casings) from ground stations to overflying pipeline patrol aircraft.
When asked if he or his pilots
ever discovered a major leak, Ro-


mans chuckls and replies, Oh yes, I was

on standby in Tulsa
to fly emergency patrol flights. They
called me to go out
and find something
wrong with a pipeline. So I set sail in
a J-3 Cub, flying south over this pipeline. I came to the top of a little hill,
and I could see that down below, it
was solid black. So I went back and
called them, and they sent a crew
down there, and I went with them.
It was a total black swamp, with oil
inches thick, and we took boots and
waded in there to stop the leak. I was
smoking cigarettes at that time, and I
started to light a cigarette, and there
was dead silence, he recalls, laughing and explaining. That caught
my attention, and I didnt light up.
If Id lit up wed all been gone! The
gas cloud over the oil would have
Pilots sometimes encountered another problem while patrolling. We
had a lot of liability problems with turkeys, recalls Romans. Theyd fly one
way and then the other [in front of
us], as we flew over [the line]. But cattle would get accustomed to us; they
wouldnt run from us as we patrolled at
about 500 feet. You can tell more about
what youre looking at from 500 feet,
or as close as we could get without it
blurring with the naked eye.
At the height of Romanss business, he had 21 airplanes flying from
at least eight locations coast to coast
and from the Gulf of Mexico to Canada, serving about 30 oil companies. By the late 1950s, his aircraft
had flown more than 1 million miles
on contract pipeline patrol flights,
and his business continued into the
1980s. Romans was active in various
facets of the aviation industry up until his death and received the FAAs
Charles Taylor Master Mechanic
Award and the Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award in 2005. He passed
away on August 25, 2006, at the age
of 93. [The preceding information
was obtained by the author during a
personal interview with Gleason Romans in May 2006 for her article that


appeared in The Southern Aviator, September, 2006.]

If Romans were here today to see
the PA-12 that Adams has configured to honor the pipeline patrol, he
would likely be quite pleased with
Adams interest and efforts to promote awareness of this unique facet
of aviation history.
The Super Cruiser was Adamss
first restoration project, and with
the help of two A&PsLovell Pulliam and Harry Pickhe included numerous modifications to the airframe
and engine. We increased visibility
by putting a pipeline patrol window
in a seaplane door, which replaced
the original door; installing a skylight
and diagonal cross-brace in the cabin
overhead; and extending the rear
windows by 16 inches. Im sure they
would have done that for pipeline patrol; Romans was pretty safety conscious. And I think they would have
put the 47 square windshield in it,
like we did, because the 46 had a little round windshield, and man, thats
right where you want visibility. We
also installed micro vortex generators
and strobes on the wingtips and belly.
I just used the things I thought theyd
use for safety, while having a little fun
with it and honoring them.
Additional modifications were
made in the engine room, and for
the fuel and electrical system. We installed a new stainless steel firewall,
boot cowl, and converted the engine
to an O-235-C1, which gives it an additional 15 hp. And we went with an
alternator, rather than a generator,
along with an entire new electrical system and a new circuit breaker panel,
Adams details, adding, we revamped
the fuel system to a PA-18 system and
installed a Piper Pacer left right
off fuel selector valve. We also put
in a PA-18 trim system, because the

PA-12 trim was notorious for having a cable

slippingthe double
cable of the PA-18 system cured that.
One glance inMIKE STEINEKE
side the cabin reveals
even more customized features. The
updated avionics and radio neatly
combine with the original creamfaced instruments, giving the panel
a nostalgic yet modern appearance.
It could be the only PA-12 with
color weather radar, chuckles Adams, explaining, I have the AirGizmos Box, a Garmin 396 and XM
Weather. Cabin enhancements include new plywood floor panels, an
Airtex interior, and inertia reel shoulder harnesses. A metalized headliner,
finished in plain polyurethane primer
gray, matches the interior.
After installing new aluminum
ribs and stringers, as well as a wing
flap kit, Adams tackled the fabric installation. Im so impressed with
the Superflite System VI, he comments, explaining, its so simple.
Ive never covered or painted anything in my life, and Im proud of
the way it turned out. I used an
HVLP for painting, and its just easy
to do, and easy to repair. I found out
real quick how easy it was to repair.
My buddy was using a ratchet screwdriver, which is like a lawn dart, and
it slipped out of his hand and went
right through the gear. Two hours
later, I had attached the fabric patch
and repainted it with an airbrush. I
couldnt believe it went that well.

Adams Piper Patrol

Smiling happily, Adams declares
that one unexpected reward gleaned
from the PA-12s restoration is that
now my wife, Sandy, loves to go flying with me! As for future plans for
the airplane, this proud owner/restorer says, Ill fly it to Sentimental
Journey in Lock Haven and other flyins, and wherever I go, Ill be honoring the pipeline patrol. I just love the
freedom of it, and I can go out and fly
it all day long and not feel guilty
because it doesnt burn a lot of fuel. I
plan to keep it forever!


Lloyd Stearman
His airplanes and his legacy

Sometimes little things reveal the

most about a persons character.
On June 9, 1930, one of the aviation industrys leading lights dictated
a letter of recommendation for his
companys 17-year-old office junior.
In his nine months on the job,
the adolescent ran many errands,
including a mail drop at the Wichita, Kansas, post office in the boss
shiny new Packard sedan. Dont
crack it up, cautioned the boss
when he handed over the keys. On
another occasion, the boss asked
his helper to oil his swivel chair,



which had a nagging squeak.

The letter was succinct and unambiguous in its praise for the
alert, wide awake young man. It
further described the teen as courteous, conscientious and honest.
An imposing winged globe with
a big S inscribed on it decorated
the stationerys masthead. Below
the four simple and direct sentences of unreserved endorsement
were the signature lines: Very truly
CO., Lloyd Stearman, President.
The fastidious office boy, Mar-

vin Michael, ultimately took three

educational sabbaticals that culminated in his earning a masters degree in aeronautical engineering.
He went to work for Boeing, the
eventual parent company of Stearman Aircraft. After more than three
decades at the company, Michael
retired as an engineering test pilot.
Lloyd Carlton Stearman and his
early business associates knew the
value of a helping hand, an ardent
word of support, a hard-earned
break. In 1920, at age 22, Lloyd read
a newspaper advertisement for a

position at E.M. Matty Lairds air- tractor. As a measure of his determi- In the face of Moellendicks intranplane company in Wichita. Lloyd, nation, Lloyd completed his flight sigence, Beech and Lloyd sought
a native Kansan, wasted no time in instruction at this time in one of backing for a new company.
By the end of 1924, the two frusapplying, for he knew by then that the very planes he was helping to
trated men had made the rounds
his heart was in aviation.
Three and a half years after Matty and persuaded several people to
Up to that point, Lloyd hadnt
had much luck completing what Laird founded his company, he de- support their venture. One was a
he had started. His civil engineer- parted due to a dispute with his much-admired, self-taught pilot
ing studies at Kansas State Agricul- patron, local oil tycoon and pilot who had been entertaining crowds
tural College were interrupted by Jacob Moellendick. Lloyd, who had at air shows across the prairie landhis enlistment in the Navy when been one of Lairds protgs, was scape for a dozen years. InterestAmerica entered World War I. Sim- promoted to chief engineer of the ingly, that pilot had reputedly
ilarly, his naval flight training in renamed Swallow Airplane Manu- flown the first plane Lloyd had ever
the Curtiss N-9 flying boat con- facturing Company. Lloyds knack seen when he was growing up in
cluded prematurely when the war for design soon led to the New Swal- Harper, Kansas. More recently, one
o f L l o y d s N e w
ended. Moreover,
Swallows had
his one-year stint
been purchased
as an apprenticand flown by
ing architect at a
the pilot, Clyde
firm in Wichita
seemed to be goIn early 1925,
ing nowhere.
in a convergence
Laird recogof aviation eminized underlying
nences rarely
qualities in the
replicated in the
i n d u s t r y s l o n g
rman and hired
Stearman lent his engineering expertise to the twin-boom Stearmanand consequenhim to perform
Hammond Y-1 aircraft built in 1936 as part of the Bureau of Air Comtial history, Lloyd
a range of draftmerces $700 safe, affordable aircraft program.
S t e a r m a n , Wa l ing and engineering duties. Little did anyone know in low. This aircraft was a significant ter Beech, Clyde Cessna, and assorted other partners established the
those budding days that once in this upgrade of the baseline product.
The New Swallow was also mean- Travel Air Manufacturing Company
groove, Lloyds course would lead
eventually to his banding together ingfully differentiated from the in the back room of a Wichita millwith various aggregations of extraor- multitude of war-surplus Jennys, in ing plant. Cognizant of his greatest
dinarily talented aviation trailblaz- that it was configured to carry three strength, Lloyd retained his post as
ers. Nor could anyone have foreseen people, had only two wing struts per chief engineer in the new company.
Lloyd stayed at Travel Air for not
then that the dusty little prairie town side instead of four, and featured a
to which the scant but growing cadre fully enclosed 90-hp liquid-cooled quite two years, but in that time
of air-minded visionaries gravitated Curtiss OX-5 engine. Publicity for he fathered the Travel Air A, BW,
would become the Air Capital of the highly regarded plane was en- 2000/3000/4000 series of biplanes,
the World, much as Detroit ripened hanced by impressive exhibition and the Type 5000 cabin monoflights made by Walter Beech, a plane. These models represented a
into the automobile capital.
An eyewitness to the maiden transplanted Tennessean who had technological progression and exflight of Matty Lairds plane re- been hired as a part-time demon- uded a handsome proportionality.
marked that its lissome motion stration pilot only a year after Lloyd The biplane lineup included some
models that sported unusual upperthrough the air resembled the poise started working for the company.
The chief engineer and the dem- wing elephant-ear ailerons.
of a swallow in flight. Without hesitation, Laird thereupon dropped onstration pilot jointly calculated if
Aesthetics were matched by practithe prosaic name of Tractor that he the aircrafts wood innards were re- cal attributes. Indeed, in 1926, a Travel
had given the two-place biplane placed with tubular steel, durability Air won the second annual Ford Reliand rechristened it Swallow. Produc- and performance would vastly im- ability Tour. The same year, another
tion of the new aircraft proceeded prove. Moellendick was put off by Travel Air set a new cross-country
apace, bolstered by the mechanical the heretical idea, however, primar- recordjust 31 hours from coast to
prowess Lloyd possessed as a result ily because of the relatively recent coast. Most memorably, on August
of the knowledge passed on by his investment he had made in wood- 16-17, 1927, Art Goebel and William
father, who was a commercial con- working machinery for the factory. V. Davis won the Dole Air Race with



a 26-hour flight that spanned the

2,400 miles from Oakland, California,
to Oahu, Hawaii, in a Travel Air 5000
dubbed the Woolaroc.
Yet, amid the triumphs, tragedy
beset the up-and-coming designer/
engineer. After a flight test of a
Model A on August 13, 1926, Lloyd
was taxiing to a hangar at Wichitas
municipal airport when a collision
occurred. The aircrafts propeller
struck local businessman George
Theis Jr., killing him.
Lloyd had eyeballed the airport
grounds from the cockpit, but simply
didnt see the man who parked his
car close to the aircraft right-of-way
and then stepped out inattentively.
Lloyd was heartbroken and extremely
apologetic. In the end, the deadly occurrence was deemed an accident.
In October 1926, Lloyd moved
to Venice, California. He was drawn
by the desire to start his own company in the perennially good flying weather and favorable business
environment then endemic to the
Golden State. Lloyd was further motivated by Santa Monica-based Travel
Air dealer Fred Hoyt, who, along with
his partner George Lyle, invested
with Lloyd to form the first company
to bear the Stearman name.
As his own boss, Lloyd was free
to pursue his promising design
concepts. The quixotic innovators
dreams blossomed into a line of aircraft that represented a leap into
the modern realm. The first of his
new C series biplanes had a substantial and stately profile.


The Stearman C3 biplane proved its mettle on the airmail routes of

the 1920s. This is Mike Williams beautiful restoration of a C3, kept
on a grass field in southwestern Wisconsin.
A distinctively squared vertical stabilizer and rudder became a
Stearman compositional hallmark.
Advances included wheel brakes
and hydraulic shock absorbers in
a fixed undercarriage. Additionally,
the main landing gear legs were positioned to give a wide stance.
The biplanes wings had differing
spans. In this sesquiwing configuration, the top wing was considerably
longer than the lower wing. The C
series is perhaps best remembered
for its later variants that used progressively more powerful air-cooled
radial engines.
Despite its outstanding products, the company was inadequately capitalized. Under the
circumstances, in 1927 Lloyd was
enticed to return to Wichita. Generous financing was offered by
Walter Innes Jr., a former business
partner. Lloyds company, still with
his name on the marquis, moved
into a large facility north of town.
The stylish Stearman biplanes
that had originated in California
spawned the M-2 and C-4A/4C
mailplanes and the LT-1 passenger
plane. These were in the same class
as the regal Douglas M-4, Pitcairn
Mailwing, and Boeing Model 40.
Few aircraft evoked a sense of the
golden age as consummately as the
commercial biplanes.
Their pilots flew from an open
cockpit situated along the aft fuselage while passengers and/or mail
remained ensconced in a commodious forward cabin. The designs

constituted the aerial equivalents of

the periods chauffeur-driven RollsRoyce and Duesenberg limousines.
Paradoxically, Lloyd, who was described at the time by a Wichita
newspaper as modest and unassuming, helped to glamorize aviation.
The companys success prompted
its takeover by the huge United Aircraft & Transport syndicate. Under
the new ownership Lloyd remained
president of his company, but ominously, the transaction occurred
on August 4, 1929, less than three
months prior to the stock market
collapse that reverberated from Wall
Street to Main Street and represented
the onset of the Great Depression.
At first, the giant holding company was undeterred. With its
backing, the Stearman subsidiary
proceeded with a major expansion
in Wichita. Operations were relocated to a factory that doubled the
floor space of the existing facility.
However, production receded
unavoidably due to the faltering
economy. Lloyd pressed forward
with his latest design, the Model
6 Cloudboy, which factored in the
transformation of the marketplace.
The new aircraft would lack the
grandeur of Lloyds designs of the
immediate past. Necessity decreed a
bare-bones two-seater to serve as an
entry-level aircraft, equally suitable
for the novice and the aspirant.
The Cloudboy was conceived as
an inexpensive-to-build aircraft,
using off-the-shelf materials and
components in a straightforward


biplane configuration that manifested elegance in its simplicity.

Lloyds new aircraft also preserved
the admirable Stearman tradition
of ruggedness and adaptability with
possible future growth in engine
size, weight, and horsepower.
Because of the drop-off in civilian sales, the company looked to
the military as an important potential source for new orders. In 1930,
the Army Air Corps embarked on a
quest for a new trainer to replace its
Consolidated PT-3. Not coincidentally that same year, the Cloudboy
flew for the first time.
A couple of Cloudboys, designated XPT-912, were evaluated at
Wright Field in Dayton, Ohio. By
the end of the year, Lloyds design
had sufficiently whetted the services appetite that a contract was
issued for four additional aircraft,
with the designation YPT-9, to conduct further testing. The company
did not receive the hoped-for production contract, but the Cloudboy
military trainer prototype was a crucial step toward development of the
fabled Stearman primary trainer.
In any case, Lloyd felt crimped
because he no longer called the
shots at his company, which now
was but one entity in a sprawling
conglomerate. For a while he concentrated on his forte of research
and development, but by summer
1931 his entrepreneurial impulses
prevailed. He left Wichita once
again for the seemingly greener
pastures of southern California.
In another confluence of aviation
wizards, Lloyd teamed with Walter
T. Varney, an airline executive whose
company had previously bought
Stearman planes, and Robert E. Gross,
a prominent aviation financier. They
had their eyes on Lockheed Aircraft
Company, part of the failed Detroit
Aircraft Corporation. Though Lockheed was mired in the bankruptcy of
its corporate parent, it had a sparkling
record as a maker of cutting-edge aircraft that found favor with some of
the eras most daring pilots.
On June 6, 1932, the three businessmen, along with other inves-

Lloyd Stearman (third from left) with fellow executives of Lockheed Aircraft
in 1934. Left to right: Ron King, controller; Carl Squier, sales manager;
Lloyd Stearman, president; Robert Gross; Cyril Chappelet; and Hall Hibbard.
tors, bought Lockheed for the sum of
$40,000. (Yes, for less than todays cost
of an F-22 wheel strut, Lloyd Stearman
and his associates bought the whole
company.) The bankruptcy judge reportedly said, I sure hope you fellows
know what youre doing.
Meanwhile, back in Wichita, the
Stearman Aircraft Company was being run by its new president, Julius E.
Schaefer. One of the priorities was to
apply the lessons learned in the companys loss of the Army trainer competition and offer a winning design
for the next round of acquisitions.
Three company engineersMac
Short, Harold W. Zipp, and J. Jack
Clarklogically took Lloyds Cloudboy drawings and used them as the
predicate for their design work.
Among the changes they incorporated in Lloyds original layout
were a cantilevered landing gear
and installation of ailerons on the
lower wings only. Wingtips and tail
surfaces were no longer square but
round. For ease of production, they
stuck with the idea of using readily
available materials.
The fuselage was formed by a tubular steel frame. Wings were made
of wood ribs and spars. Cotton linen
fabric was stretched over most of the
fuselage, wings, and tail surfaces.
What emerged from the drafting tables was the Model 70. The companys chief test pilot, Deed Levy, flew
the plane to Wright Field for trials.
The Stearman trainer type was
well-regarded by the military pilots
who tested it, but one problem stood
out. When stalled, the Model 70 just
mushed in the air. The pilots opined

that for the aircraft to be an effective

primary trainer it would have to have
a more definitive break when stalled.
Also, it would have to be more responsive to control inputs in both
spin entry and recovery. Eventually,
these concerns were addressed by the
insertion of stall-spin strips in the
leading edges of the lower wings. The
wings narrower camber changed
the airflow at high angles of attack,
which produced the desired effect.
An order for 41 of a slightly altered version, known as the Model
73, was placed by the Navy and designated the NS-1. The first aircraft
was delivered in December 1934.
The door to military sales was open.
It was an eventful time for the
company because a radical restructuring of the corporate parent was
mandated under antitrust laws enacted that year. The United Aircraft
& Transport empire was split into
pieces. The Stearman unit was apportioned to the newly freestanding Boeing Aircraft Company.
Once this corporate upheaval
played out, management and design personnel at the Stearman
operation in Wichita turned their
attention to capitalizing on the Navys trainer acquisition by trying to
persuade the Army to do likewise.
The Model 73 was minimally modified with changes to both the landing gear and the wing. This refined
aircraft was designated the Model
X75 and later simply the Model 75.
The Army liked the aircraft and
committed to ordering a significant
quantity. However, funding shortages delayed purchase of production



Interestingly, the aircraft most closely associated with Lloyd Stearman, the
PT (Model 75) series of trainers that became famous during World War II,
had little of the noted engineers involvement, since hed left the company
to run Lockheed before the aircraft was built. His previous design, the
Cloudboy, served as the basis for the design of the Model 7x series.
models until fiscal 1936. The initial
batch of 26 trainers had the 220-hp,
9-cylinder Lycoming R-680-5 radial
engine. The Army designated these
aircraft the PT-13.
Thus, a legend was born. The
Model 75 in its various military designations came to occupy a place of
honor in the chronicle of flight. The
type is believed to have taught more
American cadets how to fly during
World War II than any other primary trainer. The many airworthy
examples today serve as a ubiquitous
bridge to aviations glorious past.
With war clouds on the horizon,
government leaders recognized the
dire need for more military pilots.
Trainer production was dramatically
ramped up. In the late 1930s and
early 1940s, the Stearman assembly
lines in Wichita were humming. An
astounding 8,585 Stearman trainers were built, more than any other
American biplane. (Spare parts for
the equivalent of another 1,761 aircraft were produced.) Most aircraft
went to the U.S. military services, but
their universally recognized virtues as
a training platform made them popular with numerous foreign air forces.
At Randolph Field in San Antonio, Texas, the Naval Air Station in
Pensacola, Florida, and other military flight-training locations around
the country, the Model 75 filled the


skies, preparing cadets to fly in the

greatest aerial armada ever amassed.
Notable students who received training in the Model 75 included the
members of the Women Airforce Service Pilots, the first women to fly U.S.
military aircraft. African-Americans,
later celebrated as the Tuskegee Airmen, also learned to fly at the controls of the splendid biplane.
Dozens of fighter aces and even
Mercury astronaut John Glenn got
instruction in the Stearman trainers open cockpit. And, in the frigid
skies of the upper Midwest, George
Herbert Walker Bush, bundled in a
full fleece-lined leather flying outfit
and far removed from the trappings
of the White House that he would
experience much later in a different
kind of government service, felt the
invigorating rush of air against his
face aboard the Stearman as a rite
of passage to the rarefied domain of
military fliers.
The Army purchased four production versions, mostly the PT-13 and
PT-17, with the main difference between models being the engine type.
Concern that Lycoming would not
be able to keep pace with the manufacture of airframes caused the Army
to order the Continental R-670 engine as a substitute. Aircraft with this
220-hp seven-cylinder radial engine
were designated PT-17. Navy equiva-

lents of the PT-13 were the N2S-2 and

N2S-5; its equivalents of the PT-17
were the N2S-1, N2S-3, and N2S-4.
Paint schemes were a modelers
delight. Prewar Army trainers had
regulation blue fuselage and orangeyellow wings. The rudder was festooned in patriotic candy cane
or barber pole stripes that alternated red and white. Navy training
biplanes in those early years were
painted orange-yellow all over to ensure visibility. In 1942, the official
paint schemes for primary trainers of
both services transitioned to an overall silver shade. By then, many of the
trainers were already built and were
not repainted unless repair or maintenance reasons required their fabric
covering to be replaced.
The company adopted Kaydet
as the trainers official sobriquet. In
time, Army brass embraced the nickname. For its part, the Navy was
known for its casual usage of the term
Yellow Peril, which applied equally
to the variants of the N2S and the
Navys indigenously produced N3N
biplane trainer. Yet, pilots and their
flightline colleagues have a strong independent streak, and the sanctioned
monikers didnt ring true; they came
across as either stolid or facile.
Students, instructors, and mechanics referred to the formidable biplane
trainer by its pedigreeStearman.
The usage spread and has survived
through post-World War II generations to the present. In fact, when an
aviation neophyte visits an airport
these days and is lucky enough to see
a colorfully decorated wartime training biplane coasting overhead, some
old wag on the ground, if asked,
will invariably identify the antique
by saying, Oh, thats a Stearman.
There could hardly be a more fitting
tribute to the man whose design genius inspired the airplane that epitomizes silk-scarf flying.
As for the career path of Lloyd
Stearman, he became Lockheeds
president at 34 years of age in 1932.
He brought with him a concept for
an all-metal twin-engine transport,
which during the early to mid-1930s
was developed into the Model 10

Electra. In the process, Lockheed was

stumped as to how the aircrafts stability problems could be rectified.
A brash University of Michigan
aeronautical engineering student
named Clarence L. Kelly Johnson
determined through wind tunnel
testing that a split tail was the solution. Refashioned accordingly, the
Electra hatched many follow-on configurations, eventually morphing into
a patrol bomber that sold in quantity
to the British later in the decade. The
deal secured Lockheeds place as a major player in the aviation industry.
Lloyd left Lockheed in 1936. A
succession of jobs followed. For a
while he partnered with Dean Hammond to redesign the twin-boom,
pusher Hammond Model Y lightplane under the new StearmanHammond banner. Sales of the new
model were anemic, so in 1938 Lloyd
moved yet again. For the duration of
the war, he was employed as an aviation engineer at the Harvey Machine
Company, which produced engine
cowlings for military planes.
In 1945, Lloyd set out to harness
the old magic he had ignited years before. He established the Stearman Engineering Company in California and
channeled his energies into the design
of a purpose-built crop duster. Ironically, it wasnt able to compete with
the aircraft that already bore his name,
the Model 75. A spate of Army and
Navy Stearman trainers inundated the
postwar civilian market at incredibly
low government surplus prices. The
tried-and-true biplanes made incomparable agricultural applicators.
Rather than resist the obvious
and overwhelming tide, Lloyd spent
a short time modifying the former
primary trainers for spraying and
dusting work. He even designed
metal wings as a replacement for the
standard wood-and-fabric wings.
That led to a job at an agricultural
implement manufacturer.
As would be expected, Lloyd
yearned to get back into the aviation
business. One day in 1955 he walked
into the employment office at Lockheed, then headquartered in Burbank, California. The story goes that

he filled out an application, as would

anyone coming in off the street. The
form included a question about past
employment at Lockheed. Lloyd
marked the Yes box. The subsequent question pertained to former
position. Lloyd, not a man of many
words, filled in the blank line with
his old job title: president.
For the next 13 years Lloyd worked
as an engineer for the company he
once headed. One of his assignments
involved work on the needle-nosed
F-104 Starfighter, a Mach 2 interceptor conceived and masterminded by
the same Kelly Johnson of Electra redesign fame. By the time Lloyd retired
from Lockheed in 1968, the industry
he had helped to cultivate looked beyond the sky to the heavens. It was
a remarkable genesis from opencockpit flying over the windswept
prairies of Kansas to enabling sleek
jets to nibble at the edge of space.
Lloyd and his wife, Virtle Ethyl,
had two children. Son William was
a naval officer in the Pacific during
World War II. With advanced degrees
in international affairs, he went into
the Foreign Service and served both
behind the Iron Curtain and in Vietnam. For 17 years, he worked in the
White House as a member of the National Security Council staff, including time as an assistant to Secretary
of State Henry Kissinger. Daughter
Marilyn married and had five children. One of them, Patrick, learned
to fly and not surprisingly developed
a soft spot for the planes originated
by his grandfather.
Ever the restive dreamer, Lloyd
continued to pursue his concept for
a crop-dusting airplane during retirement in Los Angeles. He even formed
the Stearman Aircraft Corporation,
the last aviation company with his
name on it, for his desire to create
and build winged wonders would
never die. But Lloyds plane-making
days were over, and the cancer that
had weakened him finally took its
toll. He passed away on April 3, 1975.
On their way to keeping the
flame of liberty shimmering, many
World War II airmen rode the wings
of the biplane whose classic lines

were influenced by Lloyd Stearman.

Only some of the trainers leaving
the Wichita factory had manufacturer plates with the Stearman name
etched on them, for in the late summer of 1941 it became Boeings
practice to refer to its Stearman unit
as the Wichita Division. Nevertheless, the end-users, the people who
flew and maintained the aircraft,
branded the product as they saw fit.
Today, in the absence of a multimillion-dollar marketing campaign
or a customer loyalty program
touted by a sports superstar, the
brand hasnt been diluted. Rather,
with the passage of time, it has solidified. Conjoining the man with
the machine seems natural, even
destined, for there could hardly be a
better way to immortalize the name
of the aviation pioneer whose vision
fostered the venerable airplane.
To fly the Stearman is to connect
with the spirit of an exalted yore.
The cockpits are not hollow, but
overflow with timeless memories
of good flights and happy landings.
The wings dont weary, but hold the
wind for climbs to where the birds
flutter free and independent. With
each ascent, the charmed ship nurtures camaraderie among the souls
privileged to soar in its solid yet airy
frame and burnishes its namesakes
enduring and proud legacy.

Sources and Further Reading

Stearman: A Pictorial History by
Jim Avis and Martin Bowman,
Motorbooks International, 1997.
Stearman Aircraft: A Detailed Histor y by Edward H. Phillips, Specialty Press, 2006.
Wings of Stearman by Peter M.
Bowers, Flying Books International, 1998.
Lloyd Stearmans son, William Lloyd
Stearman, is reportedly readying
his memoir, which is expected to
cover his childhood in the aviation household, his combat experience in the Pacific War, his
service as a diplomat overseas,
and his years as a White House
foreign policy advisor.


Tribute to
a Classic


Focke-Wulf Fw.44J
Stieglitz reborn
in Germany


n July 1943 Erich Brunotte,

nowadays a sturdy 85-yearold German Adler, made
his first military solo flight
in a Klemm 35 monoplane
trainer at Prossnitz, Mhren (aka
Prostejov, Moravia, in eastern
Czech Republic), home base of
Luftwaffes Flugzeugfhrerschle
(FFS) A/B 71 pilot training school,
and also flew the silver-colored
Focke-Wulf Fw.44J Stieglitz biplane
advanced trainer. He is by far the
oldest active member of the Quax-

Fliegerverein, a Hamm-Lippewiesen
(Westphalia)-based vintage aircraft
flying club, reassembling several
classic vintage mono- and biplane
aircraft and gliders. The club has
about 30 active members and more
than 100 supporting old-time
aviation enthusiasts.
Early in 2008, the QuaxFliegerverein celebrated the
completion of the immaculate
overhaul, restoration, and rebuild
of its 1940 Focke-Wulf Fw.44J
Stieglitz D-ENAY, painted in full

FFS A/B 71 colors to honor its most

illustrious member, who had seen
active duty during World War II in
Jagdgeschwader 54 Grnherz of the
Luftwaffe in eastern Europe and
over Germany.

Swedish Connection
In spite of its Luftwaffe-era
colors and unit markings, Fw.44J
Stieglitz D-ENAY never saw active
military service in Germany. In
1940 the aircraft was manufactured
in Vsteras, Sweden, by the Central


Various par ts, including original

cockpit instruments and panels,
were bought from various collectors,
using Internet/online auctions.
Verkstaden in Vsteras as one of the
Swedish air forces (aka Flygvapnet)
85 Fw.44J training aircraft.
In Flygvapnet service, the Fw.44J
designan export version based
on the 1935-developed FockeWulf Fw.44Dbecame known as
Sk12 (Sk stands for Skolflygplan
o r t r a i n i n g a i r c r a f t ) . Tw e n t y
aircraft, capable of wearing skis
for snow operations during the
winter, were built by AB Svenska
Jrnvgsverkstderna at Linkping
in southern Sweden. The aircraft
department of the Swedish Railway
Workshops, ASJA was incorporated
into SAAB in 1939. The initial batch
of 14 Fw.44Js was delivered factoryfresh from the Focke-Wulf factory
in Bremen. The Swedish Sk12s were
powered by an air-cooled sevencylinder Bramo Siemens Halske
SH-14A4 radial engine, generating
145 hp and manufactured by BMW
Flugmotorenwerke in Berlin, Germany.
B u i l t a s We r k n u m m e r 4 5
in Vsteras, our Sk12 received
military serial Fv633 and entered
operational service with the Kungliga
Krigsflygskolan, as part of Flygflottilj
(Air Wing) F5 at Ljungbyhed. The
Sk12 Fv663 was used as trainer


The seven-cylinder Bramo Siemens SH-14 radial engine was stripped,

overhauled, and rebuilt by Dirk Bende of Motobende Gmbh. This company,
based at Kningswinter-Sassenberg near Bonn, specializes in the overhaul of
German-built World War II-era engines and the remanufacturing of engine parts.

Built in 1940 as Werknummer 45 in Vsteras, Sk12 received Swedish

air force militar y serial Fv633 and entered operational ser vice with the
Kungliga Krigsflygskolan, as part of Flygflottilj (Air Wing) F5 at Ljungbyhed.
until 1944 and was sent as a liaison
hack aircraft to various flottiljs
within the Swedish air force.
The final aircraft were withdrawn
from operational use by the air force
in 1967 and sold to flying clubs and
civilian owners, becoming very
popular as glider tugs due to their
sturdiness. In June 1953, Fv633,
still wearing its Flygvapnet color
scheme, was sold to the Nykopings
Flygclubb, becoming SE-BWH in the
process. In August 1958, the aircraft

left its Nordic haven and headed

for West Germany.
Having gained the West German
D-EGAM civil aviation registration,
the aircraft was flown into southern
Germany. Damaged by an accident
in 1968, its owner repaired the
aircraft, offering a front seat to
German actor Heinz Rhmann,
who starred in the 1941 German
comedy movie Quax der Bruchpilot.
From the late 70s on, D-EGAM was
displayed for years in the Deutsches

The overhauled Stieglitz D-ENAY was painted with

color ful unit markings of Luftwaffes World War II-era
Flugzeugfhrerschle A/B 71 pilot training school, based
at Prossnitz, Mhren (aka Prostejov, Moravia, in eastern
Czech Republic). Erich Brunotte flew the silver-colored
Focke-Wulf Fw.44J Stieglitz biplane advanced trainer.

To highlight the in-depth overhaul of their vintagebut

almost zero-houredFw.44J Stieglitz D-ENAY, Quax
pilots wear original World War II wool flying suits, ideally
optimized for open-cockpit operations.

Museum fr Naturwissenschaft
und Technik (German Museum
for Physics and Technology) in
Munchen, Bavaria, as part of this
well-known museums permanent
c o l l e c t i o n o f ( We s t ) G e r m a n designed and -built biplane aircraft.

Motivation, Patience, Craftsmanship: Stieglitz Overhaul

In November 2001 the aircraft,
wearing a circuslike reddish color
scheme, was integrated in the
biplane armada of the QuaxVerein zur Frderung von historischem
Fluggert, based at HammLippewiesen near Dortmund,
Westphalia. In need of some indepth overhaul and the replacement
of authentic aircraft parts, the
redesignated D-ENAY was sold to
three active Quax members by its
owner. Immediately after this transfer
of property, the new owners initiated
an in-depth overhaul, restoration,
and rebuild of the aircraft, aiming to
re-create a fully airworthy, authentic
Fw.44J/Sk12 Stieglitz trainer by
replacing several parts with original
instruments and materials.
The original flying surfaces of
an Fw.44 Stieglitz, designed by the
world-famous German designer
Kurt Tank, are mainly made of
wood. The fuselage itself, however,
is built of welded steel tubes. The
overall structure is covered by
fabric, part of the wings by plywood,
and finally the engine cowling

plating is made of aluminum.

Non-genuine parts, built into
the aircraft during previous less
in-depth overhauls in 1963 and
1976, needed to be removed, with
new safety and radio equipment
installed without jeopardizing the
overall classic internal and external
look of the aircraft. It proved to
be a real challenge for everyone
involved in the overhaul process.
The seven-cylinder Bramo Siemens
SH-14 radial engine was stripped,
overhauled, and rebuilt by Dirk
Bende of Motobende Gmbh. This
company, based at KningswinterSassenberg near Bonn, specializes
in the overhaul of German-built
Wo r l d Wa r I I - e r a e n g i n e s a n d
the remanufacturing of engine
parts. Various parts, including
original cockpit instruments and
panels, were bought from various

collectors, using Internet/online

auctions (especially eBay).
After nearly three years of
planning, hard work, patience,
and sheer craftsmanship, the
reborn, almost factory-fresh FockeWu l f F w. 4 4 J S t i e g l i t z D - E N AY
(aka Fv633) made its successful
and uneventful maiden flight
at Hamm-Lippewiesen. Shining
in its original prewar Luftwaffe
Reichsluftfahrtministerium (RLM) 01
silver color scheme, the D-ENAY
and its Quax pilot, co-owner Uli,
performed at various national
vintage-aircraft air shows all over
Germanyeven the Shuttleworth
C o l l e c t i o n a t O l d Wa r d e n ,
Bedfordshire, England, in August
2008to display its advanced
design and pay tribute to the
technical excellence of its designers,
Kurt Tank and Erich Brunotte.


Light Plane Heritage

published in EAA Experimenter April 1992



EAA 1235

ver the years several competitions have been organized for the purpose of
encouraging people to put
their knowledge of aircraft design to
work to create airplanes able to fulfill certain needs. In 1929 there was
a Guggenheim Safe Airplane Competition. In the mid-1930s the old
Bureau of Air Commerce sponsored
a contest to develop an everymans
airplane to sell for $700, which at
that time was the average price of
an automobile. During the 1960s,
EAA sponsored a contest to produce
a modern, but simple and economi-

cal, homebuilt airplane design.

We have to face the plain fact
that such contests have not exactly
produced the hoped-for results for
their sponsors. Some entries were
just too freakish to appeal to ultimate users; others were too complicated or expensive. For example,
the above-mentioned contest to develop a $700 airplane produced an
assortment of fairly conventional
planes powered by converted auto
engines that cost a lot more than
that sum when put on the market,
or which flew so poorly that the flying public rejected them. And while

this contest was going on, sales of

conventional but well-designed
and good-flying Cubs, Taylorcrafts,
and Aeroncas grew at a steady pace.
Equally unexpected and disappointing results came out of a
contest held in England in 1923.
Militar y planes left over from
World War I could be bought at surplus sales for attractively low prices.
But gasoline was very expensive in
that country, and the powerful engines in such aircraft burned much
more of it than most private pilots
could afford. Hoping to give private flying a boost, the large Daily

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


Lead photo: Shown outside the

shops at de Havillands Stag Lane
establishment, the first DH 53 flew
in September of 1923. Shortness
of the overhead wing struts left a
substantial portion of the wingspan
unaffected by disturbed airflow over
the top surfaces.
Mail newspaper and other parties
sponsored a design competition to
encourage the development of economical light airplanes.
The rules which were drawn up
specified that entries be powered
with an engine of not more than
750 cc displacement, which equals
45.75 cubic inches. There were to
be cash prizes for the greatest distance covered on one Imperial gallon of petrol (which contains 5
quarts), the greatest number of circuits around a 12.25-mile course on
one such gallon, the greatest speed
and altitude attained, and the best
short-field performance. This contest was described in an article titled The Search for Perfection
by George A. Hardie Jr. in the July
1987 issue of EAA Experimenter.
As an outcome of inexperience
in planning such competitions, the
idea of offering such varied prizes
backfired in that some entrants were
after one price and others after other
prizes. The planes they created were
thus engineered to give the kind of

performance most likely to win in

a chosen category. Some were designed for speed, some for economy,
some for range, and so on. Most of
them were thus specialist planes,
and while the best of them did win
the contests they were designed for,
most of them were rather poor general-purpose ships. Some were so
light that they could do well only in
still air, for example.
To be fair, some very interesting
designs were created, which taught
everyone valuable lessons in good
and poor approaches to the problem. And the contest as a whole did
get much publicity and served to
generate interest in economical private flying.
The most significant outcome
of all, however, was that everyone
present agreed the plane that impressed them as being the very best
for all-around general sport flying
was one which won none of the
prizes. This was the de Havilland
53, which came to be known as the
Humming Bird.
The story goes that one of the pilots who flew it during the Lympne
competitions was named Hemming
and that people started referring
to his plane as Hemmings bird.
From there it was a short and natural step to Humming Bird. While
definitely a very light airplane, it
looked acceptably like a real air-

plane, rather than the result of some

engineers hallucinations. It didnt
have enough power to capture the
speed prize, it had too much drag
to win the fuel consumption prizes,
and could not reach the 14,400-foot
height that won the altitude prize.
Actually two Humming Birds were
entered at Lympne, one being flown
by Hubert Broad and the other by
Alan Cobham, both very experienced and well-known professional
pilots employed by de Havilland.
The converted 750 cc horizontally opposed Douglas motorcycle
engines of 26 hp that powered these
planes gave endless mechanical
problems, as a result of being forced
to work too hard in flight. But when
in the air, these two pilots gave
very impressive demonstrations
and showed convincingly that the
Humming Bird was the best general-purpose sport plane present.
The various planes entered in the
Lympne contest were designed by
professional aeronautical engineers
employed by prominent firms such
as Avro, Gloster Aircraft Company,
Handley Page Limited, Vickers
Ltd., and, of course, de Havilland
Aircraft Company. The engineering and production facilities at the
factories were at their disposal, and
its intriguing to speculate how the
competition might have turned out
if it hadnt been divided into differ-

The first DH 53 to be built is still flying at Old Warden Aerodrome in England. Light blue fuselage, silver wings and tail. Aileron push-pull tube is clearly visible below left wing. Engine is
fitted with stub exhausts.

Location of the Humming Birds cockpit gave good view of the ground immediately in front of the wheels, an important thing when taxiing on grass
fields likely to have soft spots, animal burrows, and other traps for the
unwary pilot.
ent performance categories.
De Havilland people discussed
at length the design features they
should incorporate in their entry.
For acceptable rapid and economical construction of the two planes
to be entered in the contest, they
chose easily tooled wood as the
primary material. In some of their
larger commercial designs, they had
had good results from a new type of
wooden fuselage construction.
In most World War I planes,
wooden longerons and crossmembers were trussed together
with numerous criss-crossed steel
cables. The many eye splices, turnbuckles, and end fittings necessary in this construction called for
much tedious hand labor.
In the new method, spruce longerons and cross-members were
also used, but the entire fuselage
structure was covered with thin
plywood. In addition to taking the
place of fabric covering, the plywood acted as one very large gusset
to tie securely together the longerons and cross-members.
For the light Humming Bird fuselage, 1.5-mm plywood was used,
this being practically the same as
1/16 inch. Such seemingly thin plywood was adequate for the purpose
it served. But probably due to being
made with the casein glue then in


wide use for aircraft work, it tended

to show unsightly wrinkles if exposed to damp weather for several
The tail surfaces were framed
with wood and covered with doped
fabric, as were the wings. Rudder
and elevator cables all ran outside
of the fuselage, and all were double.
This to us seems like overbuilding,
but we have to remember that in
1923, perhaps due to the memories
of having control cables parted by
Albatros and Fokker bullets, British
airworthiness officials had a phobia
about the inspectability and reliability of control cables.
Control horns on the rudder and
right and left elevators were positioned well out from the fuselage.
This was because the spruce strips
that formed the leading edges of
these surfaces were not as well able
to handle torsional loads as is todays steel tubing. Locating them in
those places tended to spread out
the twisting loads. Those old-timers
did things differently from the way
we do them, but they had good reasons for doing what they did.
The straight-axle landing gear
design on the Humming Bird was
of a type that de Havilland had
used on other models; you can see
details in Figure 1. Since most English airfields of the early 1920s were

surfaced with grass that was kept

mowed, it was felt there was little
likelihood of such a low-riding axle
dragging in tall grass. A useful advantage of the straight axle was that
it automatically put both wheels
into perfect alignment. Shock struts
originally made use of bungee cord,
but when this proved too bouncy,
firmer rubber discs working in compression were substituted.
The radius strut, which secured
the axle against drag loads, ran
from fittings at the firewall down
and back to the outboard ends of
the axle. To the modern American
eye this arrangement makes it appear as if some mechanic had installed the landing gear backward.
But de Havilland engineers had a
good reason for using this layout.
Because the drag struts were in tension, lighter tubing could be used
than if they were in compression.
Originally designed to be bolted
to motorcycle frames, the Douglas
engines crankcase had a rectangular bottom with bolt-holes at each
corner. A cast aluminum plate was
designed and made, onto which the
engine was bolted, as can be seen
in Figure 2. Wider than the crankcase, its outer edges bolted to the
fuselage longerons. By creating a
wider base for the engine, it helped
the longerons to take up the twocylinder engines torque impulses.
Both high-wing and low-wing
designs were discussed at length.
A high wing was initially favored
because it could be secured with
struts fastened to its lower side.
This would keep the liftcreating
an upper surface of the wing free of
strut interference. Because no one
had ever figured out how to make
end fittings for wooden struts that
would safely handle the considerable tension loads, it was accepted
that struts for a high-wing design
would have to be of steel tubing
either round and drag-producing, or
streamlined and rather expensive.
But as the talks progressed, a
low-wing design seemed more appealing. Riding close to the ground
and spanning 30 feet, such a wing

The DH 53 had a landing gear of typical de Havilland
style. Note doubled rudder control cables. What appear to be single elevator cables here were actually
duplicated on the other side of the fuselage.
would benefit from ground effect
and probably help to give both
quick takeoff with low power and
a slow landing speed. Since the
proposed airplane would be quite
light, it was also feared that a highmounted wing would make for a
rather unsteady airplane when running crosswind on the ground.
As things worked out, the finished Humming Birds with Douglas
engines weighed only 326 pounds
empty and 524 pounds loaded. Despite the rather light wing loading
of 4.08 pounds per square foot, the
planes proved to be quite manageable
on breezy days. Another advantage
of the low-wing design was that in
such small planes, there was no overhead structure to make getting into
and out of the cockpits awkward. It
was acknowledged that a high wing
would afford more protection to the
pilots head should a plane nose over
while taxiing, but in the end it was
decided that these planes were going
to land and taxi so slowly that it was
a risk that could be lived with.
The wing (or more properly the
right and left wing panels) was given
just as much consideration. A serious
problem in low-wing monoplanes
with struts on the upper sides of their
wings is the struts can interfere with
smooth airflow so as to have noticeably adverse effect on lift.

Details of installation of the original 750 cc Douglas
motorcycle engine of 26 hp. Note mounting plate under crankcase. Long exhaust pipe cut the loud exhaust
bark to an agreeable purr.

As finally decided upon, the overhead wing struts attached to fittings

on the top surfaces of the wings
only 4 feet out from the fuselage.
The angle between the wing surfaces and the struts was thus open
enough to minimize the squeezing
effect of air flowing through this region. At the same time the outer 9
feet of each wing worked in air not
affected by overhead strut interference. Since the struts would all be
fairly short, their air drag would be
as low as possible.
Since this arrangement would
create considerable bending stresses
on the spars at the points of strut
attachment, deep spars were indicated. In 1923 the thin RAF 15 airfoil was well-known to designers
and still much in use, but it was too
shallow to house deep spars. The solution to this dilemma chosen by de
Havilland seems curious today but
made good sense. As seen in a plan
view the Humming Bird wings have
no taper. But as seen in a front view,
there is taper. The standard RAF 15
airfoil was used at roots and tips,
but the several ribs in between them
were made progressively deeper so
as to give the necessary spar depth
at the strut attachment points. This
called for making jigs for ribs of
varying shape, but as such jigs were
simple wooden affairs, they were

considered an acceptable extra cost.

Remember, they were after aerodynamic efficiency in hopes of winning a substantial cash prize.
To get adequate strength combined with low weight, tapered
box spars were used. These called
for more labor than the straight,
solid spars so often used on light
airplanes for the sake of low labor
cost, but again with contest money
the aim, box spars seemed the way
to go. Each spar was made up with
top and bottom spruce cap strips
and plywood side webs. Having had
much experience in the use of wood
for aircraft, de Havilland engineers
hit upon a simple but clever way to
shape the cap strips. In Figure 3 you
can see how a semicircular groove
has been routed in the inner surface
of a cap strip. This saved a worthwhile amount of weight. Calculations showed that enough wood
remained to handle the loads to be
imposed in flight. Yet there was still
ample surface to create strong, dependable glue lines between the cap
strips and the plywood webs.
It would have been an imposition on de Havillands purchasing
department to ask them to order
about 30 feet of streamlined steel
tubing for the wing struts of two
Humming Birds; so spruce ones
were used. They would be fairly




Routed wing spar cap strips saved a useful amount of

weight but left generous area for secure glue lines.

short and therefore rigid enough

to handle the compression loads to
which they would be subjected in
flight. End fittings were designed
with generous area to take those
loads off the wood and transfer
them to the fuselage fittings. These
fittings were robust enough to enable them to handle the mild tension loads theyd experience when
a Humming Bird was operating on
the ground. And, of course, inverted
flight was not contemplated.
The inboard ends of the wing
struts attached to the fuselage aft
of the cockpit, an arrangement that
seems curious today. One would
think theyd attach at a point
ahead of the cockpit so as not to
interfere with getting in and out.
We can only guess at the reason for
this. Perhaps because of the light
weight of the Douglas engine, the
pilot seat had to be located somewhat forward to obtain proper aircraft balance. Then it would have
been hard to find space to run a
cross tube close in front of him.
Or, as originally planned, the DH
53 was to have folding wings. On
the three-view plan visualize pivot
lines running from the struts fuselage fittings down to the rear spar


The aileron control mechanism looks heavier and more

complicated than necessary. Location of aileron pushpull tube stud gave differential action to the ailerons because it traveled farther in one direction than the other.

root fittings. The tips of the wings

folding back around such pivot lines
would easily clear the tail surfaces.
But as finally built the wings were
made detachable by pulling three
pins for each panel, and perhaps
the odd-looking strut arrangement
was just left as shown on the plans.
A stout steel tube passed through
the fuselage just aft of the pilot to
take wing strut compression loads.
The pilot stepped on a foot plate
mounted atop the left rear spar root,
hauled himself up by grasping the
rear strut, and swung his feet over
the struts to get into the cockpit.
The ailerons were quite large, and
its easy to deduce that de Havilland
people felt this would provide generous control at the fairly low flying
speeds the Humming Birds would
experience. Cruising speed was about
60 mph depending on engine, and
landing speed about 33 mph. The
rudder also had generous area. It was
common for planes having tailskids
and no brakes to have large rudders
to facilitate turning on the ground
when taxiing at low speed.
Figure 4 shows the sprocket and
chain arrangement used to transmit
control cable motion into the aileron
actuating push-pull tubes located un-

der the wings. Perhaps de Havillands

stock room already had these seemingly heavy and complicated units in
stock, so they were used as a matter
of expediency. Today we would weld
together short pieces of steel tubing
to make simpler, lighter bell cranks.
Note the stud on the lower surface
of the sprocket. This location gave it
arcs of travel such as to impart differential action to aileron movement.
In turns, the outboard aileron moved
down a smaller amount than the inboard one did, to reduce the adverse
yaw effect.
Although the Humming Birds
won no prizes at Lympne, the obvious overall practicality of the design got people to thinking about
these planes. In those days, the British economy was still hurting from
the effects of the recent war, and
people in government were very
economy-minded. Someone in a
position of influence got the idea
of supplying several RAF squadrons
with Humming Birds so that pilots
could keep in practice at low maintenance and fuel cost. These ships
might also be used for intersquadron communications flights. So
eight were ordered and delivered to
various RAF bases.

Large enough to be a docile flier, small enough to be cute, the de

Havilland 53 Humming Bird marked a step forward in the development of small sport planes. Headrest behind cockpit was actually an auxiliary fuel tank to increase the cruising range.
Since the baggage allowance was
a paltry 7 pounds, the Birds proved
to be of rather slight use in ferrying
parts and supplies from airfield to
airfield. But pilots had great fun cavorting about in them. Some even
developed surprising skill at low
and slow aerobatics and gave demonstrations at air shows.
Two birds were fitted with hook
arrangements above their cockpits
and were used in experiments to
hook flying airplanes onto a pickup
device built on the underside of
the big R-33 dirigible. At that time
Russia was in the practice of buying one airplane of each type built
in leading aircraft manufacturing
countries to take home for evalu-

ation, and so one Humming Bird

went to that land. Another went to
Czechoslovakia and a few to Australia. One of the Australian Birds
ended up being sold to someone in,
of all places, the remote island of Samoa. Altogether 16 were built. The
first one to be built still exists and
has a safe home in the Shuttleworth
Collection at Shutterworth (Old
Warden) Aerodrome in England.
Although not a huge commercial
success, the Humming Bird design
played an important role in de Havilland history. It taught the companys
executives that while such a plane
could fly very cheaply, it just was not
a practical general-purpose aircraft.
This thought led to the introduction

a few years later of the two-seater

60-hp Gipsy Moth biplaneand
when that appeared on the scene, de
Havilland fortunes soared!
Because the original Douglas engines proved unreliable, other engines
were fitted to Humming Birds. These
include the V-twin, 697 cc Blackburne
of 24 hp, the 32-hp Bristol Cherub,
the 35-hp A.B.C. Scorpion, and the
40-hp opposed-twin Aeronca.
Some of these engines were fitted with stub exhausts, and when in
flight, sounded like noisy motorcycles. Others had long exhaust stacks
running down under their fuselages
and terminating at a point below
the cockpits. People who heard
these in flight saw that engine noise
was thus reduced to a slightly loud
but quite agreeable purr.
A replica powered by a 40-hp
Continental A-40 engine was built
in Alberta in 1967. This might get
some readers to thinking that it
would be a fascinating project to
build yet another one today and
power it with one of the new 35-hp
opposed-twin Mosler engines. That
would combine the very best of antique and homebuilt planes in one
ship. But here we run into a jolting
example of how sensitive large corporations have become in recent
years about product liability. The
successor company to de Havilland,
British Aerospace, has the original
Humming Bird plans on file, but
even though this design dates back
to 1923 and only a few very dedicated people would want to build
replicas, it refuses to sell copies of
these plansbecause it is so concerned about product liability.
For more information, the de
Havilland 53 Humming Bird is
thoroughly described on pages 203
to 209 of the book De Havilland Aircraft Since 1909 by A.J. Jackson. A
good description of the plane and
its construction appeared in the
September 27, 1923 issue of Flight
magazine published in England,
pages 576-580. A four-page rundown on the DH 53 appeared in
the April 1985 issue of the British
magazine Aeroplane Monthly.



BY Steve Krog, CFI

Its all in the feet

Not long ago I had a young and fairly new private pilot
enroll for a tailwheel endorsement. This person, a very enthusiastic pilot, had accrued about 70 hours total time in
the previous 18 months. After a preflight briefing, cockpit
briefing, and doing some taxi Figure 7s on the ramp, it was
time to move to the runway. All proceeded as expected until we positioned the airplane for takeoff. An instant before
adding full power, I looked down to ensure the pilot had correct foot placement
on the rudder pedals. To my surprise the
pilot had removed her feet from the pedals and had placed them flat on the floor.
When asked why she had done so, she
replied that her instructor had told her
to do that!
At first I thought it was an attentiongetting prank to test me, but she was
dead serious. After the flight I gave this
some thought and mentioned this situation to another instructor. All we could
come up with was unbelievable! How
could a student obtain a private certificate using this method?
Transitioning from a tricycle to a tailwheel (conventional) gear airplane is
great fun, somewhat challenging, frequently frustrating early on, and almost always humorous. Ive experienced this and more while training new
pilots, but it is especially good for a lot of chuckles when
working with a certificated, tricycle-experienced pilot.
Ive trained pilots, both new and experienced, in a lot
of different tailwheel airplanes, but I prefer to start them
all in the J-3 Cub for a couple of reasons. The student sits
in the back seat, with me in front. Positioned in this configuration, the student can see my raised hands when I
use them to demonstrate rudder inputs on takeoff and
landing. While in flight, I can reach down and place my
hands on their shoes and assist with rudder inputs when
making and rolling out of turns or when maintaining directional control on either the takeoff or landing roll. This
method also teaches attitude flying.

Proper Foot Position Is Vital

Before ever starting the engine, it is important to have
the student get settled in the rear seat. The first thing he
usually does is place his feet on the rudder pedals so that
the arches of his feet make contact with the pedals. It is
very important at this stage to reposition his feet so that
the ball of each foot is lightly making contact with the
rudder pedals. This allows the foot to
pivot at the ankle when applying rudder input. Rudder inputs will be much
more fluid and more easily coordinated
with aileron inputs, as it requires only
ankle pivot. If the arch of the foot is in
contact with the rudder pedal, the entire
leg has to move to provide rudder input. This action leads to uncoordinated
inputs when applied with the ailerons,
and were always striving for smooth,
fluid, coordinated control inputs.
The first question a transition pilot
will usually ask is, I cant access the heel
brake pedals with the balls of my feet
positioned this way. How do I do that?
My response is, You only use the brakes
three times for a Cub flight: when starting the engine, when doing the engine
run-up, and when stopping in front of the hangar at the
flights conclusion. Yes, there are exceptions, such as when
taxiing in close quarters or taxiing in a strong wind. But
otherwise, if brakes are needed, youre behind the airplane! In those three situations it is satisfactory to use toe
pressure on the brake pedals to prevent pain and strain on
your Achilles tendon.
During the first hour of flight in the J-3 Cub, or any
tailwheel aircraft for that matter, rudder usage can
usually be categorized according to one of the following descriptions:
Calf-Cramping Crush: This occurs when one firmly
plants both feet on the rudder pedals and applies equal
amounts of foot-crushing pressure so as to nearly rip the
rudder pedals from the floorboard. This method of rudder

How could
a student
obtain a
using this


usage will also cause severe leg cramps

later in the day.
Toe-Tickling Touch: This involves just barely touching the rudder
pedals for fear of breaking something. This input or lack thereof leads
to significant adverse yaw whenever
attempting to bank the airplane.
Monster Mash: Slamming the
rudder pedal to the floor with a size
14 steel-toed work boot whenever a
slight bit of rudder input is required.
Severe skidding turns are the usual
result, followed by an equally hard
skid in the opposite direction when
rolling out of a turn and returning to
straight and level flight.
Arch Pivot Push: Placing the
arches of the feet on the rudder
pedals so as to cause unusual ankle
contortions with little or no rudder response. Shin splints are sometimes the result of this method of
rudder application.
Footrest Roost: Attempting to
fly a tailwheel airplane with tricycle-plane inputs. For someone attempting to taxi using this method,
the rudder pedals serve as footrests,
never to be moved except when taxiing. One will usually see a lot of rapid
foot movement in search of the toe
brakes, which are not there.
Fluttering Fish: Rapidly moving
the rudder from stop to stop, thinking this will help maintain directional control on takeoff or landing.
Watch for this type of rudder movement at the next pancake breakfast,
and you will see that the rudder is
but a blur until the airplane becomes
airborne or comes to a complete stop
on the runway.
Around-the-Clock Rock: The
act of unconsciously pushing the
rudder pedals left and right, usually
accompanied by moving the control
stick or yoke left and right but not
in a coordinated fashion. Frequently
induces nausea in a beginning pilot
and most often occurs on final approach to land.

Tap and Release

When explaining proper rudder
usage to a tailwheel transition student for takeoffs and landings, I use

the phrase tap and release. With

the stick or yoke back and the aircraft
aligned with the runway centerline
for takeoff, rest the balls of your feet
very lightly on the rudder pedals. Do
not yet exert any pressure. As you begin smoothly applying full power,
the plane will generally want to yaw
or swerve slightly leftward. Tap and
release the right rudder pedal one or
more times. Do not push the right
rudder and hold it, as this will immediately cause an overcorrection
and the nose of the plane will now
be pointed rightward. In order to
keep the plane tracking straight forward, the right rudder may need to
be tapped and released several times.
As the control stick or yoke is
moved slightly forward, raising the
tail about a foot above the ground,
you will again experience a slight
leftward movement of the nose.
Tap and release the right rudder
as needed to correct this movement, keeping the aircraft tracking
straight forward.
One common mistake I see when
teaching takeoffs to both transition
and first-time tailwheel students is
the attempt to move the airplane
back to the runway centerline after
the aircraft has been allowed to yaw
leftward. In my opinion, this should
never be done. Rather, straighten
the ground track of the plane and
continue the takeoff from that point
forward. Attempting to move the airplane back to the centerline will usually induce an interesting S-turning
ground track, often leading to a spectacular trip between and sometimes
over the runway lights.
Once airborne in a proper climb
attitude, slight but constant right
rudder pressure is needed until completing the climb, offsetting the engine torque and propeller P-factor.
This is the only time throughout a
normal flight where constant rudder
pressure is required, with one exception: steady crosswind landings.
Another common rudder usage
mistake Ive experienced is continuing to hold the rudder input when
making turns in flight. Several days
ago I was working with an experi-

enced pilot on a tailwheel transition.

Every time he turned, he applied and
held the rudder until completing the
turn. When I corrected him, he told
me that his instructor had taught him
to do that. Once the desired angle of
bank has been established, the control stick and rudder should be neutralized. By that I mean move the
stick to the center, removing the aileron input, and take your foot off
the rudder. Most of the light singleengine airplanes we fly have a fair
amount of positive stability designed
into the aircraft. Few or no control inputs are needed after establishing the
bank angle to complete a 90-degree
shallow-bank turn until rolling out
to a wings-level attitude at the turn
When landing, it is important to
take a deep breath while on short
final so that your muscles are relaxed. This is where one of the
seven rudder mistakes most often
occurs. Unknowingly, we allow
ourselves to get tense in preparation for a tailwheel landing.
Keep the airplane aligned with the
runway during the level-off and flare
by using slight rudder inputs, again
tapping and releasing the pedal each
time pressure is applied (except in a
crosswind landing). Upon touching
down, tap and release the appropriate rudder pedal, keeping the plane
on a straight-line track throughout
the rollout phase of the landing.
Pushing and holding the rudder will
cause overcorrection, leading to another series of runway S-turns. Just
tap and release and repeat as necessary to keep the airplane straight.
Again, if the airplane is allowed to
drift a few feet left or right, straighten
it out with rudder tapping and continue the rollout straight ahead from
that point. Do not try to realign the
airplane with the runway centerline.
Learning to safely fly a tailwheel
airplane is challenging but also a lot
of fun. It will teach you to use your
feet and make you an all-around better, safer, and more coordinated pilot.
To communicate with the author or editor, send a note to vintage





Engine cowls for drag reduction

Part 2
Parasite drag is defined as the resistance to for ward
flight caused by air flow striking the frontal par ts of the
air frame. When radial engines arent faired, the drag is
substantial, as shown in this NASA sketch in Illustration 1.
Fred E. Weick, who headed the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) Propeller Wind Tunnel section,
conducted early experiments on streamlining the engine
installation and focused initially on the Wright J-5 engine.
His wind tunnel work and computations showed that a remarkable increase in airspeed could be achieved by fabricating an aluminum cowling and attaching it to the engine.

Illustration 1




Illustration 2 shows Weicks team in the sheet metal

shop, fabricating a cowling for a radial engine at the Langley Research Center in Virginia. All experimental cowls
were handmade, most likely constructed from drawings
made by Weick and his associates. Whenever experiments
such as Weicks work on cowlings were conducted, the
data was assembled and placed in a NACA Technical Repor t. A description of the work accomplished, computation tables, sketches, and photographs accompanied the
repor t. The repor t was made available to manufacturers
who desired to build and market the product. Today these
NACA reports are available at the NASA website (http://

Illustration 2


Illustration 3

Illustration 3 shows craftsmen installing a ring cowl to a U.S. Navy ship in preparation for flight tests.
These experiments took place from 1925 to 1929 and were funded by the government, just as NASA is
funded today. NACA was established in 1915 and charged with coordinating research in aeronautics. It
quickly became the prime research organization pushing the boundaries of flight from the early stages
through the first supersonic aircraft in 1947. NACA passed the torch to NASA in 1958 and expanded
the role of aeronautics research into space exploration.

In Illustration 4 is a cover sheet for a NACA

Technical Note authored by Weick in July 1928
regarding wind tunnel tests to determine the
drag of a Wright J-5 radial engine. The data
compiled herein was used to design and construct low-drag engine cowls for use on military
and commercial aircraft.

Illustration 4



Illustration 6
Illustration 6 shows a standard 1928 Lockheed Vega, a
wood monocoque fuselage and cantilever wing design by
John Northrop. The Wright J-5 engine cylinders protruding
from a streamlined fuselage are quite evident.

Illustration 5


Illustration 5 is a NACA photograph of the propeller wind

tunnel at the Langley Research Center around 1928. The
aircraft being tested was a Sperry Messenger, a mock-up
of a cabin monoplane with the radial engine fully cowled.
Note that the wind tunnel was constructed of wood. It
was this early research that led to fully cowled engines
in the late 1920s, particularly the famed Lockheed Vega.
Illustration 7
The early ships were constructed with the most advanced LOCKHEED
monocoque fuselage design of the day; however, their
With the installation of a NACA pressure cowl as
Wright J-5 engines were uncowled and created a substan- shown in Illustration 7, airspeed and range were imtial amount of drag.
mediately increased. On Februar y 4 and 5, 1929, Frank
Hawks, a famous barnstormer and stunt pilot, established a new Los Angeles to New York nonstop record of
18 hours and 13 minutes flying a Lockheed Air Express
equipped with a NACA low-drag cowling that increased
the aircrafts maximum speed from 157 to 177 mph.
The day after the feat, the committee received the following telegram:
Weicks NACA research
tion in parasite drag of an
aircraft. The photos below
are all from NACA/NASA and
show the early use of pressure engine cowls in the
United States. Illustration 8
shows a nicely faired Stearman Model 4E complete with
pressure cowling and wheel
fairings. When speed was
ever ything, this was the way
to go. When the full-pressure
cowling was used, it was necessary to install intercylinder
Illustration 8



Illustration 9

Intercylinder baf fles or deflectors ser ve to direct air

around the cylinders, thus ensuring pressure air cooling
for the rear of the cylinder. Illustration 9 shows a Pratt &
Whitney Wasp engine complete with all baffling in place.
The baffling actually sealed against cowling, thus forcing
air around cylinder fins for cooling. Also there were scoops
that directed cool flowing air on magnetos and sometimes
the generator to keep those components cool. Illustrations 9 and 10 show engine baffling. These illustrations
were taken from Aircraft Engine Maintenance.


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Illustration 10

The invention of the NACA pressure cowl and the research conducted by Weick and Max Munk during 1928
and 1929 laid the groundwork for all future engine cowling installations. Just think of all those fast World War II
fighter and bomber aircraft with tight-fitting engine cowling.
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This months Mystery Plane comes from W. Duffy Thompson of
Lakeland, Florida. It is of foreign manufacture, but the photo was
taken on the East Coast of the United States.
Send your answer to EAA,
Vintage Airplane, P.O. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086. Your
answer needs to be in no later
than October 10 for inclusion
in the December 2011 issue of
Vintage Airplane.
You can also send your response via e-mail. Send your
answer to mysteryplane@eaa.
org. Be sure to include your
name plus your city and state
in the body of your note and
put (Month) Mystery Plane
in the subject line.


Our June Mystery Plane came to
us from John Schwamm of Carefree,
Arizona. It was a true Mystery Plane,
as Johns father owned the hangar
in the background, but John didnt
know the identity of the little aircraft. Wes Smith, of Springfield, Arizona, did. Heres his answer:

Among an interesting assortment of aircraft, including the Vance Viking in the

background, Tony Schwamms hangar was the scene for a quick shot of our
June Mystery Plane, the Mendenhall M-1 Special.


The aircraft in question is the 1936

Mendenhall M-1, aka Special. A
gull-winged, twin-boom, low-powered racer. Test-flown flown by Anthony Tony LeVier of (latter day)
Lockheed fame. Registered as 16097,
it was flown three times using the
22.5-hp Cyclomotor powerplant. On
all three occasions the engine failed.
The first two times LeVier was able to
execute dead-stick landings. The third
time, the aircraft was destroyed and
LeVier was slightly injured. It was designed and built by Eugene Mendenhall of Los Angeles. I swear Ive seen

ternational Airport.
He flew in many
of the Howard
Hughes movies, and
one picture I have
shows several of his
World War I Thomas
Morse Scouts in front
of the hangar.
And by the way,
that nt ction
actually reads student instr uction.
The top reads TONY
SCHWAMM, under
that is aerobatics,
and to the left is student instruction.
From John Underwood, another
longtime Lockheed
man and California aviator, comes
this additional
Thanks to our Vintage Mechanic Bob Lock, we have
a picture of Junes Mystery Plane, the Mendenhall M-1
Your current MysSpecial completed and ready for flight testing.
tery Plane is Gene
Mendenhalls M-1
other photos, but Im hard-pressed to Special, 16097, which Tony LeVier
find them. has a fair flight-tested at Muroc and Rosawrite-up, which I used. What tipped mond, near what is now Edwards
me off were the hangar markings and Air Force Base in the Mojave Desert.
origin. At the time, LeVier was flying These flights were very brief affairs,
in Arizona and California, so it makes because the 25-hp Cyclomotor twoperfect sense that the photo came out stroke pusher was prone to overheating
of Arizona. Aside from his name, there and quit after about five minutes. The
is: nt ction. Theres also that M-1s final airing was at Telegraph &
big monster sticking out of the hangar.

Atlantic Airport, where the motor quit

again one Sunday late in 1936, resulting in a crash-landing in soft soil.
The little plane dug in and stopped so
abruptly that Tonys seat belt snapped
and he kept going. He went halfway
through the nose and was totally immobilized by the surrounding structure. He was frantic to get out but
could barely move and was sure the
thing would burn before anyone could
reach him. They had to cut it apart to
get him out. He had a few minor cuts
and bruises, but the M-1 was DBR
and never flew again. Thats Tony
Schwamms hangar at T&A Airport.
The airplane in the background is
the Vance Viking, which had been
prepped by Clyde Pangborn for a nonstop round-the-world flight that never
got off the ground. It was then acquired by a character known as Monty
Mason, who renamed it the Mason
Meteor and promoted funding from a
Texas centennial foundation for another flight that never came off. Mason got into some sort of financial
jam (scam?) and also disappeared. It
could be he abandoned the Viking in
Tony Schwamms hangar. Tony had
a lot of oddball airplanes, including
two American-built Savoia-Marchetti
S-55 twin float seaplanes, a bunch of
Thomas Morse Scouts salvaged from
Howard Hughes air force, and a
whole lot more.
No other correct answers were

After receiving the answer, John

added some details, noting that the
answer made perfect sense:
Tony was a good friend of my dads.
I had met him several times and heard
the old flying stories from him.
The hangar is my dads, but in California, not Arizona; its now a freeway intersection. Sprott Field it was
called. The date is just right, as my
dad had the hangar there until about
1937, when it burned. Then he went to
Alaska to start a flying business there
and later became the first director of
aviation for the territory of Alaska,
then after statehood, he was director of
air terminals, managing Anchorage In-


sters with their first flight in a GA

aircraft. Henceforth, the programs
objective will include bringing the
77,000 Young Eagles we fly each
year through certification, Hightower said. We have not paid a
lot of attention to that in the past.
Now we will focus attention on
helping them all the way through
[pilot] certification.
Hightowers plan to establish flying clubs comes from his four years
living in Europe. Clubs would provide more pilots and potential pilots with access to more aircraft at
a more affordable cost, he said. The
program will start with creating a
flying club at EAAs Oshkosh headquarters. We have a bunch of airplanes. Lets put them into a flying
club, he said. Establish a safety
management system for the operation, and maintain the operation.
Were in the process of doing that.
Hightower noted many of the EAAs
900 chapters would be potential candidates for establishing flying clubs.
Hightower also announced that
EAA Sport Aviation magazine, traditionally only available to members, is being distributed through
selected pilot shops. Its an important opportunity to expand, to take
our world-class magazine out to the
marketplace, he said.

iPad 2 winner Leo Mora and his wife, Nancy, pictured by Leos pressurized Cessna Skymaster.

First Winner Selected in AutoPilot iPad 2 Sweepstakes

Congratulations to Leo Mora, of Shady Shores, Texas, EAAs first winner
of the monthly AutoPilot iPad 2 Sweepstakes. Leo was automatically entered
into our monthly drawing for an iPad 2 when he put his membership on AutoPilotEAAs automatic dues renewal programduring AirVenture 2011.
Also included is a one-year subscription to ForeFlight HD, supplied by ForeFlight LLC, maker of intelligent apps for pilots. ForeFlight HD allows pilots to
plan, organize, and fly their trips like never before and includes features like
a navlog, approach plate organizer, integrated FAA Airport/Facilities Directory
(Green Book), personal waypoints, airspaces, and more.
An EAA member since 1984, Leo, who lives on an airpark, is a Delta airline
pilot, a pressurized Cessna Skymaster owner, and a builder of a Glasair I.
Put your membership on AutoPilot by visiting and be
entered into the next drawing. It takes just a minute, eliminates the waste of
paper renewal notices, and ensures uninterrupted delivery of all your member
benefits. Best of all, by signing up today, you too could be a winner! (Visit the
website for complete sweepstakes rules. No purchase necessary. Void where
prohibited by law.)

Gathering of Eagles Does It Again

Aviation leaders, world-renowned
celebrities, and those with a shared
concern for aviations future once
again made the annual EAA Gathering
of Eagles fundraising gala a tremendous success.
Major highlights this year included
an exclusive preview of film icon
George Lucas latest project set for
release in 2012, Red Tails, about the
famed Tuskegee Airmen; the first-ever
appearance together of all five past
and present chairmen of the Young Eagles program: Cliff Robertson, retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager,
Harrison Ford, Sully Sullenberger, and Jeff Skiles; and a $400,000 winning bid for Ford Motor Companys one-of a kind
2012 Blue Angels Mustang.
The event raised about $2.2 million to support Young Eagles, youth education and experience programs, AirVenture
Museum, and other EAA programming to help create the next generation of aviators.


Theres plenty more . . .

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S o m e t h i n g t o b u y,
sell, or trade?
Classified Word Ads: $5.50 per 10
words, 180 words maximum, with boldface
lead-in on first line.
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$20 per inch. Black and white only, and no
frequency discounts.
Advertising Closing Dates: 10th of second
month prior to desired issue date (i.e.,
January 10 is the closing date for the March
issue). VAA reser ves the right to reject any
advertising in conflict with its policies. Rates
cover one insertion per issue. Classified ads
are not accepted via phone. Payment must
accompany order. Word ads may be sent via
fax (920-426-4828) or e-mail (classads@ using credit card payment (all cards
accepted). Include name on card, complete
address, type of card, card number, and
expiration date. Make checks payable to EAA.
Address advertising correspondence to EAA
Publications Classified Ad Manager, P.O. Box
3086, Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086.


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George Daubner
N57W34837 Pondview Ln
Oconomowoc, WI 53066

Steve Nesse
2009 Highland Ave.
Albert Lea, MN 56007

Dan Knutson
106 Tena Marie Circle
Lodi, WI 53555


Steve Bender
85 Brush Hill Road
Sherborn, MA 01770

Dale A. Gustafson
7724 Shady Hills Dr.
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David Bennett
375 Killdeer Ct
Lincoln, CA 95648

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635 Vestal Lane
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Oshkosh, WI 54904

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Membership Services Directory

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magazine and one year membership in the EAA
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year (SPORT AVIATION magazine not included).

(Add $7 for International Postage.)

Current EAA members may join the EAA
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EAA Membership, WARBIRDS magazine and one year membership in the
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Copyright 2011 by the EAA Vintage Aircraft Association, All rights reserved.
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Thank You from Ford and EAA!

The partnership between EAA and Ford spans more than a decade and the connection continues to grow. Our mutual goal is to continually
enhance the EAA member experience.
EAA values the partnership with Ford and Fords support of the opening day REO Speedwagon concert, the nightly Fly-In movie theater the
spectacular Blue Angels Edition Mustang, and much more.
AirVenture 2011 was an extraordinary event and we look forward to seeing you next year!
Rod Hightower
President & CEO, EAA

Tom Poberezny
Chairman Emeritus, EAA

Edsel B. Ford II
Board Director, Ford Motor Co.

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