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Once again it is time for all of us to begin making our plans for participa-
tion in the annual pilgrimage to the world's largest aviation event, the 24th
Annual EAA Convention and Fly-In at Wittman Field, Oshkosh, Wisconsin,
from Saturday, July 31st, through Sunday, August 8th, 1976. This is the
longest EAA convention in history, nine days beginning and ending with
a full weekend.
Your Antique/Classic Division has already organized a full schedule of
activities ,for antique and classic aircraft and their owners including judging
of the exhibit aircraft and the awarding of trophies in a multitude of classi-
fications, recognition of well known old-timers in aviation as well as out-
standing restorers at either the Interview Circle during the day or the Pavilion
Evening Program, historical sequence air pageants, and forums on the
various types of antique and classic aircraft. As in the past, these forums
generally will include information on maintenance problems, parts avail-
ability and substitution, modifications, specific restoration techniques,
flight characteristics, aircraft availability, etc., plus additional forums on
techniques and procedures of restoration which are applicable to all air-
craft. They will usually be scheduled for a 1 % hour period and will be held
in a large meeting tent located next to the Antique/Classic Division Head-
quarters Barn. The tent will be complete with blackboards, rostrum, public
address system, electricity for projection equipment, and adequate seating.
We are again this year inviting all type clubs to make the EAA Con-
vention one of their annual fly-in activities. Due to limited parking space
available in the Display Aircraft Parking Area and even more limited man-
power, we do not plan to provide special parking rows for each type air-
craft as we have done in the past. However, we do have the aircraft type
signs available, ' so if any type clubs do want their own row(s) we shall be
happy to supply the signs, but it will be necessary for them to make arrange-
ments directly with the Antique/Classic Parking Chairman, M. C. "Kelly"
Viets, RR 1, Box 151, Stilwell, Kansas 66085, before July first and to police
their own rows with their own members starting on Wednesday, July 28th,
and continuing through the entire convention period.
While on the subject of the Display Aircraft Parking Area we would like
to emphasize that the EAA Convention is somewhat different from the
average fly-in which most of us usually attend. The basic theme of the EAA
Convention is EDUCA nON, and the Antique/Classic Division tries to
encourage this theme in both its forum programs and its Display Aircraft
Parking Areas. We would like to ask your cooperation in using the Display
Aircraft Parking Area only for parking those aircraft of which you can be
justifiably proud of your work or efforts spent in its restoration, recon-
struction, or continued "Tender Loving Care" brand of maintenance. This
is the area for showing off that which we consider to be excellence in our
field and that from which others can learn by close inspection, by example,
and by conversing with the owners and restoers. This is the area where he
who is planning to restore an antique or classic aircraft can look to see what
he can expect to achieve and can thereby be fired with enthusiasm. This is
the area where photographers can photograph the finest collection of the
restorers' art. This is the area where he who comes just to admire historic
beauty on wings can savour the excellence of workmanship.
For those who are presently using their airplanes for transportation
only and are not planning to restore them until next year or the year after
or maybe never, we have a very large Member and Guest Parking Area
along the E-W runway which is more conveniently located to the action
than are many parts of the Display Aircraft Parking Area. It would be a big
help to your overworked and undermanned Parking Committee if aircraft
which fall into this latter category were parked in this Member and Guest
Parking Area.
Well, it had to happen sooner or later . Your officers and directors have
made it as much later as they possibly could, but that old devil, inflation,
finally caught up with us . After watching your Division expenses exceed
. your Division income for some months, your officers and directors had to
face the unpleasant task of increasing the membership dues. The fact that
this was the first dues increase since the Division was founded didn't make
them feel any better about it.
At the Board of Directors meeting on April 24, 1976, they noted a dues
increase and restructuring to become effective June 1, 1976. Effective that
date Division dues will be $14.00 per year for EAA members and $20.00
per year for non-EAA members. The latter will receive the additional bene-
fit of non-subscription membership in EAA. This is a full membership in
EAA with all of its rights and privileges, but minus the subscription to
SPORT AVIATlON magazine. The officers and directors hope that their
action meets with the approval of the majority of you members and that
you will understand the need for this increase.
Publi sher Editor
Paul H. Poberezny AI Kelch
P. O. BOX 2464
P.O. BOX 181
Ter m expi r es August '77
Claude l.Gray. Jr.
9635 Sylvia Avenue
Northridge. California 91324
James B. Horne
3840 Coronalion Road
Eagan, Minnesota 55122
George E. Stubbs
Box 113
Brownsburg , Indiana 46112
William J. Ehlen
Route 8. Box 506
Tampa. Florida 33618
P. O. BOX 3747
8102 LEECH RD.
UNION.IL601 80
Term expires Aug ust ' 76
AI Kelch
7018 W. Bonniwell Road
Mequon, Wisconsin 53092
Evander M. Britt
Box 1525
Lumberton, North Carolina 28358
M. C."Kelly" Viets
RR 1. Box 151
St ilwell . KS 66085
Lois Kelch
Centributi ng Editors
H. N."Dusty" Rhodes
Evander Britt
Jim Bart on
Ed Escall on
Rod Spani er
Dale Gustafson
Henry Wheeler
Morton Lester
Kelly Viets
Bob Elliot
Jack Lanning
Bill Thumma
W. Brade Thomas.Jr.
301 Dodson Mill Road
Pilot Mountain, North CArolina 2704 1
Robert A. White
1207 Falcon Drive
Orlando. Florida 32803
Jack C.Winthrop
3536 Whitehall Drive
Dallas. Texas 75229
THE VINTAGE AIRPLANE is owned exclusively byAntique Classic Aircraft , Inc. and is publi shed monthly
at Hal es Corners. Wisconsin 53130. Second class Postage paid at Hales Corners Post Office, Hales Cor-
ners, Wisconsin 53130 and Rando m Lake Post Office. Random Lake, Wisconsin 53075. Membershiprates
for Antique Classic aircraft. Inc. at $10.00 per 12 month period of which $7.00 is for the publication t o
THE VINTAGE AIRP.ANE.Membership is open toall who.are interested inaviat ion.
Postmaste,: Send Form3579 to Anti que Classic Aircraft,Inc., Box 229,
Hales Corners, Wisconsin 53130
JUNE 1976
The Res torer'sCorner............... . ... . ... . .... .. .....,........ 1
From "Sticks To Airplanes" ...,...,.............................. 3
Early Bird Vignette . . ....... ...,..., .. .... ..... . .... . . ... ...... . . 6
PowderPuffDerby ............... . ........_.................... . 8
Vintage Album .................................................. 10
The Uptown Swall ow .... .. . . ... ..... . ........ . .... .. . .... .... ... 11
Whistling In The Rigging......._.....................,........... 16
CalendarOfEvents ......................._...................... 17
I Remember When .............................................. 17
Yaller's My Color................................................ 17
The U.S. Mail . ... . ..... .. ... . ... ..... . .... . ......... .. .. . ..... . . 18
Exception rule B are aircraft manufactured between years 1950-55,
buteither model or make are no longer in production. These are eligible
for judging.
1. Models no longer in production but, manufactors still in business,
such as 190-195, 170 Cessnas, early Bellanca, etc.
2. Outof production manufactors such as SWift, Stinson, etc.
A tribute to Women in Aviation
See Vintage Album.
Flying Returns to the North
(see page 17).
Copyright 0 1976Antique Classic Aircraft , Inc. All Right s Reserved .
A long time before I was even a gleam in my father's
eye, my oldest brother was building the reputation of
being one of the "youngest of the pioneer aviators."
As a very young boy, Orin Welch wanted to be a
radio operator on a ship at sea until he saw one of the
first airplanes in the sky. He immediatel y wanted not
only to fly them, but to build them. Hammer and nails
in hand, along with a few boards, marked the beginning
of hi s aviation career. He built hi s "aero-plane" and
had some of hi s friend s push him off the shed's roof
while he was at the "controls". A very s uccess ful
flight indeed! The year was probabl y 1916, at Orin's
age of ten. Nevertheless, he did not lose hi s interes t
in aviation.
The last time I remember seeing my brother Orin,
he was on hi s way to fl y the Hump. I didn't know then,
at my age of 15 and he at 36, he was never to return to
us . Hopefull y, he found hi s shangri-la in the Hima-
laya n Mountains.
Between 1916 and 1943, I believe Orin contributed
much to aviation. I recall many famil y discussions about
Orin's love of fl yi ng. He had been fl ying since he was
12 years old, but hi s scrapbooks reveal from a news-
paper article that he soloed on November 27, 1923, just
s ~ o r t y after he turned 17. In the same article it reads,
" he is also quit e a stunt flyer ..."
In the early 20's, Orin trained many pilots fr om all
Left: The Welch Airplane Company in 1928 ...
over the world and did a lot of barnstorming in southern
Ohi o and West Virginia . He and the famil y had several
airports and put on many air shows, but thi s did not
sa tisfy Orin's appetite for aviation.
In the summer of 1927, Orin and the fami ly were
to move from Charleston, Wes t Virginia to acquire the
airport in Anderson, Indiana . For being a small baby,
I was a big problem during thi s move! The state of
West Virginia had imposed a polio quaran tine and
no babies were to leave the area. Who would think
about fl ying a baby out ? Orin did, naturall y! "Mom,"
he said, "you and the baby get in the airplane and we'll
fl y her out." Thus, I've always claimed the fame of
being smuggled over the border'
The Welch family took over the Anderson Airport,
then owned by Fred Parker, who I believe designed
and manufactured the Anderson Biplane. The fami ly
soon had to relocate the airport, but still in Anderson .
May of 1929 saw dedication of the "Welch Field".
This was a three-day air event which brought many
aviation giants to our airport, such as: Amelia Earhart,
Major Reed Landis, Eddie Rickenbacker, Mike Murphy,
Oswa ld Ryan, Clyde Shockley, Harry White, Willie
Goetch , Weir Cook, Charles E. Wilson, Anthony
Fokker, Freddie Lund, and many others.
The excitement and gaiety of the months to follow
were short lived, however. The then famous " Welch
Field" - the hangar and many airplanes - went up
in flames in November, 1929. By thi s time, Orin had
designed and built hi s own airplanes . They included
the Welch OWl , OW2, OW3, and OW4. Then ca me
th e littl e Welch OW5 and several others, often mi s-
taken for the Aeronca C3.
Eventually, we found ourselves in South Bend,
Indi ana . With a lot of experimenting, testing, sweat,
a nd no doubt tears, the family began " mass" pro-
duction of the Welch airplane during the middl e 30's.
I have many unforgettable, impressive memories as a
sma ll girl watching the airplane on th e assembl y line.
They started from littl e more than plain "sti cks" and
sheets of wood, tubing, cloth, bars of aluminum, and
sheets of rubber. Soon, these materials would begin
taki ng shape. The wood was glued, the tubing welded,
the cloth sewn, brushed, and sprayed with dope, the
bars of aluminum melted, molded, and then made into
engi nes, the sheets of rubber cut , "stuck together",
and baked into tires . The entire procedure was phe-
nominal' Finally, from what began as a "stick", the
Welch airpl ane would roll out of the factory ready for
a test hop!
Orin's contribution to design is worth noting here.
The "Welch Cushion Wheel " was a tubeless tire that
Orin had pattented in th e 30's . The tire was made
Below: This picture was taken in 1940. Four of the last few Welch
airolanes that were manufactured . ..
around an aluminum hub and then baked. Many ni ghts
I would stay up late watching the tires being baked.
The crucial moment would arrive when the mold
cooled and was removed from the newly baked tire, for
if there were any blisters or air bubbles, the tire would
be useless . Many days, we had more failures than
The Welch 02 engine was a 45 horsepower, two
cylinder engine. I don' t know how many of these were
made, but I certainly would like to see even a part of
the Welch engine! I know of two Welch airplanes fl ying
today. Another is bei ng rebuilt and there is a fourth
one licensed, but I am not certain it' s flying.
The company had to s hut down production with
the onset of World War II. With Orin's experience and
knowledge, he was needed elsewhere for hi s country.
March 13, 1943, Orin Welch was officially " lost" while
flying "cargo" over the Hump. It was, of course, a
tragic loss for all of us.
For many years , I wouldn't go near an airport or air-
plane. Recentl y, I found out that not only were hi s air-
planes s till flying, but that Orin is remembered by
those wonderful people that are s till living, those
wonderful people that gave us thi s grea t pioneer avia-
tion heritage.
My childhood love has brought me back into the
world of aviation again and I hope, in the years to
come, I can be a part of " Keeping the Antiques Flying"
and Sport Aviation alive.
Orin Welch is standing by the prop of the airplane
that he used to solo in 1923.
Editor's Note
Souther California was one of the
hubs of prime flying activities in the late
'20s and one fledgling at that time was
Vera Dawn Walker. She learned to fly
with Standard Flying School at Los
Angeles in an OX-5 Eaglerock in the
fall of 1928, and was Dept. of Commerce
licensed No. 5265 January 1, 1929; her
F.A.I. license No. 7169 was issued July
24, 1929. She praises the Eaglerock as
one of the best training planes of that
era; her instructor was Lee Flanagin.
Between her work as an extra in the
movies and real estate sales, Vera
managed to acquire enough flying time
to qualify for and enter the First Women's
Air Derby, flown Aug. 18-26, 1929 from
Santa Monica to Cleveland. She flew
a Challenger powered Curtiss Robin,
christened "Miss Los Angeles", racing
No. 113 and was one of the more for-
tunate contestants to finish the grueling
race. Earlier in the year, she had co-
piloted the Bach tri-motor, 8-passenger
"Air Yacht" on its maiden flight from
San Francisco to San Diego, then later on
down into Mexico.
A charter member of the Ninety-Nines,
when Vera Dawn flew her Transport
Pilot's test, Dec. 15, 1929, she was the
eleventh woman in the country to be
so licensed. She subsequently worked
in the sales field demonstrating and
representing different aviation com-
panies and agencies in Los Angeles,
Denver and Kansas City.
Known as the "pint-sized test pilot"
because of her small stature - an inch
short of five feet tall and tipping the
scales at 94 pounds, Vera flight tested
the Panther McClatchie powerplant. It
was renowned for having far less moving
parts in comparison with the conven-
tional engines of that day, and with it
Vera set off for a tour of the (then) forty-
eight state capitals. She says she became
the unofficia I forced -la nding-champion
of the world but did get in lots of extra
flying time. Carl Lienesch, one of the
early-day air race directors, who now
lives at Carson City, Nevada, recently
wrote, "Vera Dawn always struck me as
a sweet, little, trusting girl who could
get herself into the dangest tangles (with
an airplane, I mean) but could always
extricate herself before the bomb went
off!" Vera Dawn wrote of Lienesch,
"Lenny was the managing flight director
of the '29 Derby and in full command of
flying instructions and he knew of all
the troubles some of those gals got them-
selves into. He watched and worried over
them like an old mother hen. Wiley Post
was pilot of the manager' s plane, a Lock-
heed Vega."
In the summer of 1930, Miss Walker
entered the 1,575 mile Dixie Derby from
Washington, D.C. , with a swing through
Amelia Earhart and Vera Dawn Walker at Denver. Spring of
1931, during AE's trans-continental, round-trip Pitcairn autogiro
demonstration flight.
Vera Dawn Walker and the Curtiss Robin in which she was
an entrant in the First National Women's Air Derby, 1929.
Dixie, to Chicago and the National Air draw at Birimingham and after il car- the other finished a scant three seconds
Races. Flying an Inland Sport, she en- buretor overhaul, she flew directly to behind May Haizlip; both flying identical
countered engine trouble the second day Chicago. There she entered two of the
planes - Warner powered Inland Super
out, while flying a close second to 25-mile (5 lap) pylon races for 500 cu. in. , Sports.
Phoebe Omlie. It was necessary to with- open ships. She won one race and in
Nov. 4-18, 1929 brought Vera Dawn
what she considers the highli ght of her
flying career - the First Annual Cali-
fornia Goodwill Air Derbv in which
twenty-five fliers were e n t ~ r e d About
half of the entrants dropped out, how-
ever Vera Dawn finished the course and
during the tour she learned to fly forma-
tion with Major Mike Doolin in the lead.
This Derby was flown up the Coast,
across the north end of the State and
back down the other side of the State.
She flew a Whirlwind J-5 Swallow, which
had been flown by Ruth Elder in the '29
Women's Air Derby and was sponsored
by James Granger, West Coast Swallow
Distributor at Clover Field, Santa Monica.
Vera recalls, "I do remember big crowds
meeting the caravan at most of the land-
ing sites, and the tour was under the
a uspices of the All-Western Aircraft
Show". A subsequent flight took her
x-c up into Canada.
The spring of 1931, she went to Den-
ver to fly one of three planes, a P&W
powered Stinson, to Guatemala for a
private fl ying service there. A big under-
taking for that day, all misgivings turned
to delight after the flight was underway
over varied terrain - desert , water,
uncharted jungle gorges and ravines
and a flight over an active volcano. One
forced landing on a canyon lake beach
required a week to retrieve the plane.
Although she was able to fly enough to
validate her license another year, it was
four years before she regained her health
and the flying desire had begun to wane
after the Central America episode.
In reminiscing of past history, Vera
reports, "You know the years play
strange tricks on us" and quotes Louise
Thaden, '46 years is a heck of a long time!'
Vera Dawn admits to having set no
special records during her flying days
but flew for the sheer love of flight and
the desire to do something different, just
as so many others did during those
formative years. Today, she ejoys the
Arizona sunshine in the Phoenix area
and takes an occasional holiday "South
of the Border" .
During a visit wi th Carl Li enesch and hi s
wife, Rosemary, at Carson Cit y, April17, 1976,
he informed me he fl ew the Uni on Oil Com-
pany J-5 Travel Air over the ' 29 Derby race
course, and Wil ev Pos t flew some of the other
race offi cials. Ca'rl headed up the Union Oil
Aviati on Dept. and as passengers, d uring the
race, he carried hi s sis ter, Ruth, and Patt y
Willi s, Los Angeles fli er, who doubl ed as hi s
Another interesting note- Neva Paris, one
of the racers in the San Bernardino pi cture,
was one of four persons who signed the "call -
to-the -colors" lett er p rio r to the time the
Ninety- Nines organized. The others were Fay
Gillis (Well s), Frances Harrell (Marsa li s) a nd
Margery Brown.
,.,. ... ..
,. *
.. ..
.. ,.
JULY 9-12,1976
Left: Eight of the 1929 Women 's Air Derby contestants
with " ground escorts" at San Bernardino, the fi rst stop
in the historic air race: (Front L to R) Vera Dawn
Walker , Louise Thaden, Maude (Chubby) Miller, Ruth
Elder and Edith Foltz. (Rear L to R) Thea Rasche,
Margaret Perry and Neva Paris.
Below: A 1930 National Air Race photo taken shortly
after Vera Dawn Walker had won a 25-mile closed
course race. (L to R) Hoot Gibson and Sally Eilers,
Hollywood personalities of the era, Clema M. Granger,
James E. Granger and Vera Dawn Walker .
Who Sell
new responsibilities, a husband, a
pilot's license and a job as a
Dallas, Texas. base
Curtiss-Wright saleswoman
attheir Alameda. Calif.,
Lorraine Defren is the Boston base's sales- Helen Cox, newest woman transport pilot,
lady, as well as president and or- is stationed at the home base airport
ganizer of the Women's Wing at Valley Stream, L. 1., to
and Prop Club of New demonstrate and sell Curtiss-
England Wright products
Frances Harrell, transport pilot, formerly
demonstrated ships for "Brownie" at
Valley Stream. L. 1. Now she is
selling the flying qualities of
Curtiss-Wright ships all over the
country by the sure way in
which she manipulates them
with the Curtiss-Wright
Exhibition Company

Men and Th
.r+" .

Taken From The Curt
he up-to-date Curtiss-Wright version of last year's
maxim "Sell the woman, sell the plane" is "Let the
woman sell the plane." And so she has and is right
briskly atseveral of the Flying Service bases.
At least a dozen women are employed in various
sales capacities by Curtiss-Wright. They sell not only
ships but flying coursesand accessories to men as well
as to women, and by their presence in the industry
they undoubtedlyhave considerableinfluenceinselling
It is quiteimportantin makinga saleif shewhosells
him or her who buys. Most of the women who sell
Curtiss-Wright planes have pilot's licenses. Those who
haven't are well on their way to getting them. Two of
the women have transport licenses, two have limited
commercial licenses and the others are private pilots.
Women have sold stocks and bonds, real estae
and life insurance, and automobiles, as well as sub-
scriptions to magazines and ribbons and hosiery over
the counter. Now they are selling airplanes, lying
lessonsandaccessories. Theyare particularlysuccessful
in the saleofflying courses. EightofthedozenCurtiss-
Wright saleswomen learned to fly at Curtiss-Wright
Flying Service bases. And who other than a graduate
of a school is better equipped to tell a prospect about
EDITOR'SNOTE: Atributetothemanyw(

r Vintage Machines
. ..
r-: ......-- .- ,., .,..

". -- -.' -
Wright Review 1930
the merits of his flying alma mater? Another point at
which women are invaluable is to talk flying togs to
prospective women students.
It is interesting to note what the former professions
flying salesladies. One of them was credit manager of
a furniture store, another taught mathematics and geo-
graphy, and still another taught in a high school. A
fourth is a recent high school graduate. One left the
University of California to take up flying and still
anotherfailed toturnuponregistrationdayatMichigan
StateCollegefor thesamereason. Secretarial work was
done by some, and one of them was an advertising
woman. Another of the Curtiss-Wright saleswomen
turned her back cold on a training school for kinder-
garten teachers, and oneof them taught physical train-
ing in a fashionable girls' finishing school.
It is a far cry from anyone of these professions to
results. If you have ever been carrying on a nice
gossipychat with oneofthemand seen theglint in her
eyes as she broke off suddenly with, "So long, here
comesmyMoth prospect,"youknowhowbussinesslike
and how resolute they can be in the matterofmaking a
Madeleine B. Kelly sells for Curtiss-
Wright Flying Service at the
Alameda base in California
Jane W. Willis was a physical traInIng
teacher at Denver, Colo. Then she
became the star pupil at the Curtiss-
Wright base there: and now she is
Who Sell
Betty Russell is just eighteen, enough to
be a limited commercial pilot. She is
011 the Alameda, Calif., salesstaff
Mildred Harrington is using her experi-
ence as an advertising woman to
sell Curtiss-Wright equipment and
courses, particularly to the women
of Bridgeport, Conn.
Dorothy Pressler, operations clerk at the
Oklahoma City base, is a licensed
pilot and does her share of
Curtiss-Wright sales-talking

May 1974 issue of Vintage Airplane has the story of the Swallow's
discovery in the uptown section of Chicago.
See March 1975 issue of Vintage Airplane for the story where they
decided to re-enact the Cuddeback flight that initiated air mail 50 years
The January 1976 issue of Vintage Airplane carries the story of the
original flight by Cuddeback.
This issue carries the GRAND FINALE, a successful completion of
the re-enactment by "Buck" Hilbert.
By Edward D. Williams (EAA 51010)
713 Eastman Drive
Mt. Prospect, Illinois 60056
he Swallow that Toffinette, Hilbert and Schroeder
unearthed in a garage in uptown Ch icago, has
climaxed its short two year career.
The restored Swallow biplane on April 6, 1976, re-
enacted one of the significant flights of aviation his-
tory, but not without a lot of luck in completing the '
res toration of the plane in time, and not without con-
siderable flying skill and courage by the pilot in the
fli ght itself. The flight was made from Pasco, Wash-
ington to Boise, Idaho by E. E. "Buck" Hilbert, of
Union, Illinois, a United Airlines DC-8 captai n. It
was made exactly 50 years after a flight from Pasco
to Boise to Elko, Nevada, in a Swallow by Leon D.
Cuddeback, chi ef pilot for Varney Air Lines. Cudde-
back's fli g ht marked the beginning of permanent
schedul ed airline service in the United States.
Having purchased the Swallow two years before
United's 50th birthday, there seemed to be a lot of
time to compl etely restore the Swallow, but, as it
turned out, the deadline was just barel y met. The Hil-
bert-Toffenetti-Schroeder biplane is a Swallow Com-
mercial just about identical to the Swallow Mailplane
flown by Cuddeback. Edward E. McConnell , a Fed-
eral Aviation Administration certified ins pector and
an aircraft res torer, specializing mostl y in Piper Tri
Pacers, was assigned the res toration job. With Mc-
Connell doing mos t of the res toration work by him-
self, while Hilbert scoured the country for parts, the
work went very slowl y. Hilbert went to Oakland, Cali-
fornia to visit Cuddeback and discuss details of the
future re-enactment, and Cuddeback strongly recom-
mended that Hilbert install at leas t a Wright J-4 or not
even attempt the re-enactment. The original K-6 en-
gi ne was completely out of the question, Cuddeback
said, even if one could be found .
Hilbert, in California, located one of the few re-
maining J-4s in existence and traded his OXX-6 for
it. He then had the J-4 sent to Memphis, Tennessee,
for a complete overhaul and sent to South Bend to get
what mi ght be the only existing J-4 engine carburetor
in the world. He also went to Iowa to get the propel-
ler and to the states of Vermont, Washington, Kansas
and New York to get miscellaneous but vital parts .
The instruments posed less of a problem because
the few instruments available to pilots in 1926 didn' t
fill up much of an instrument panel. A much needed
replacement was a reliable compass for the one in the
Swallow, which Hilbert said " probably told the pilot
only if he were in the Northern Hemisphere".
It looked for a while like Hilbert would not be f1y-
ing the Swallow at all on April 6, 1976, because restora-
tion work hit several snags as time sped by. Hilbert
explained that ea rl y biplanes like the Swallow were
not mass produced as modern planes in which every
part for one plane is identical to the sa me part on
anot her plane. " They were all pretty much cus tom
made," he said. So a part that could be used on one
Swa ll ow did not necessarilv fit another Swallow.
Feeling the pressure O'f the dea dline, Hilbert be-
ga n spending almost all hi s fr ee time at Seneca, work-
ing with McConnell. He also pressed into service a
longtime friend, Michael X. Drabik, of Chicago, an
EAA member and a retired United Airlines mechanic.
The almost impossi ble ta sk of locating vital parts long
since out of any aircraft firm's inventory put the work
more behind schedule.
Hilbert appea led for help to United, which as-
signed two more of Hilbert's antique-expert friends
fulltime to the work at Seneca. They were Richard
Moen of Dundee, illinois, a United pilot also flying
out of O'Hare, and Michael Branand of River Forest,
Illinois, a furl oughed United pilot who was working
as a mechani c at United's San Francisco Maintenance
Center while waiting recall to flying status. McCon-
nell , Drabik, Moen and Branand all hold current FAA
airframe and powerplant mechanics licenses.
Hilbert had originally planned to complete the
restoration at Seneca in time to test fly the Swallow
and then fl y it to O'Hare for shipment by United DC-
8F Cargoliner to Boise. But the silver and blue plane
was rolled out of McConnell 's hangar on March 22,
too late for any test flying. On that day the Swallow
was disassembled and trucked up to Chicago, about
80 miles to the northeas t. On March 23, the 90 mile-an-
hour biplane was loaded into the Cargoliner and flown
to Boise at a speed of .8 the speed of sound.
The United Cargoliner normally flies daily from
Chicago nonstop to Seattle, Washington, but it was
flown March 23 with very little other cargo, with a
special stop at Boise, to accommodate the Swallow.
The 32-foot long wings and the tail assembl y were
loaded easily in the Cargoliner's 106 foot long cargo
compartment. But the 24-foot-long fus elage, on its
own landing gear, barely cl ea red the top of the 85"
by 140" main cargo door opening. Inside, the top
cylinder of the J-4 engine came within two inches of
touching the ceiling of the cargo compartment, even
after the Swallow's tires were partially deflated.
Although the DC-8F could have carried 80,000
pounds of cargo, the Swallow - with an empty weight
of only 1,570 pounds - and some miscellaneous boxes
and cra tes were the only cargo.
Previous to the completion of the Swallow at Seneca,
Hilbert made a preliminary trip to Bosie to det ermine
what facilities might be available for the Swallow si nce
there was still some work to be done before it could
be flight tested. It also needed hangar space.
At Boise, Hilbert met with Dean Wilson, head of
the Bradley Air Tra nsporta tion Museum owned by
Joseph L. Terteling, Idaho indus triali st. In a move
s taggering for its ge nerosi ty, Wilson told Hilbert
that Terteling offered the use of a flat bed truck to
transport the Swallow from the Boise airport on ar-
rival in the Cargoliner and then the use of hangar
space in his museum northwest of Boise for reassembly
and other work needed for the plane for as long as
needed. Without these faciliti es, the Swallow project
would not have been completed in time for the April
6 fli ght.
As it wa s, the United crew of Hilbert, Moen, Bra-
nand and Drabik worked long hours every day to get
the old plane ready. Finally, six days after its arrival
by Ca rgoliner, the Swallow was tes t flown by Hilbert
on March 29. The J-4 operated perfectly, and after a
15 minute fli ght, Hilbert foll owed with another for
30 minutes.
The next day, on one of the test flight s from Ter-
teling's private s trip, Hilbert was forced to land the
Swallow at an abandoned dirt strip nearby because of
fuel starvation. After some readjustments, the Swal-
low was flown again the next day, and what appeared
to be a final blow developed.
The J-4 was eating itself up and developed con-
siderable roughness in flight, forcing Hilbert to set
it down as quickl y as possible on Terteling' s strip.
Close inspection showed that there were metal par-
ticl es inside the e ngine, indicating that complete
failure would probably occur shortly if the Swallow
were flown again with the J-4.
But luck was with the Swallow project, and again
Terteling's people came to the rescue. Dean Wilson
pointed out that the museum's L-13A had a 220 horse-
power Continental engine built in 1942 that weighed
about the same as the J-4 and could easily be inter-
changed with it. Wilson put hi s crew of 10 museum
employees working on the project, and the United
crew, which had been joined by McConnell a few days
earlier, worked through the night. The J-4 had failed,
and some authenticity was sacrificed, but at least Hil-
bert now had a more powerful and more reliable en-
gine for the flight.
STURDY SKELETON - Waiting to be covered is the fuselage of
the Uptown Swallow. E. E. "Buck" Hilbert kneels on the front
seat while Edward E. McConnell, who is restoring the old plane
hands him the instrument panel .
The J-4 engine was something of a
hi storical item in its own right. It was
one of three that powered the Fokker
tri-motor monoplane flown by Adm.
Richard E. Byrd and Fl oyd Bennett May
9, 1926, when th ey became the fir s t
men to reach the North Pol e by air. Hil-
bert said his research on the serial num-
ber of the J- 4 engine showed it to be
delivered to Byrd for install ati on on the
Fokker airplane, the "Josephine Ford",
for the hi storic Polar fli ght.
Although there is no record of what
finally happe ned to th e " Jose phine
Ford", the engine turned up with a pri-
va te a ntiqu e a ir craft owner in Ca li -
fornia , from whom it was obtained by
Hilbert h ad located onl y three J-4s
that were operable, and two of them
were in the Smithsonian Ins tituti on .
He said the J-4 was ori ginall y manu-
factured fo r the U.S. Navy and that
only 199 were built . It also was the fore-
runner of the engine tha t Charl es A.
Lindbergh used to fl y solo across the
Atl antic.
Hilbert had sa id at that time that he
considered himself extremely fortunate
as he was not aware of any other fl ya-
ble J-4 engine in existence. Acknowledg-
ing the hi storical value of the J-4, the
Smithsonian loaned the engine restorer
FIFTY YEARS APART - Two pilots stand beside their planes il-
lustrating the Similarity between a historic flight made in 1926
and a re-enactment flight made April 6, with the Swallow biplane.
This photo at Seneca shows United pilot E. E. " Buck" Hilbert
with a restored Swallow that made the Pasco-Boise re-enact-
ment Flight April 6.
a parts manual and a manufacturer's brochure on the
J-4 from its files.
Appreciating all that Terteling and Wilson had
done for the Swallow project and reali zing the his-
torical significance of his J-4, Hilbert donated it to
the museum after it was taken off the Swallow. How-
ever, after its use in the re-enactment flight, the Con-
tinental 220 was due to be returned to the museum or
be put back on the L-13A.
The important thing was that the Swallow was
able to be test flown immediately with the new en-
gine, and the re-enactment was only two days away.
On Sunday, April 4, Hilbert ferried the Swallow to
Pasco for positioning, and he reported that all went
Although Cuddeback on April 6, 1926, had flown
from Pasco to Boise and on to Elko, the schedule called
for Hilbert to fly only the Pasco to Boise leg on April 6
and the Boise to Elko leg on April 7 because of civic
celebrations planned on those days by the communi-
ties involved.
Matching as closely as possible the details of Cud-
deback's flight , Hilbert carried 9,285 pieces of mail in
six sacks in the front compartment, which also can
be used as a second cockpit. However, the weather
situation was reversed. On Cuddeback's flight, he
had good weather between Pasco and Boise but ran
into thunderstorms between Boise and Elko.
For Hilbert, the weather on April 6 between Pasco
and Boise was terrible but between Boise and Elko
Hundreds of persons greeted E. E. "Buck" Hilbert on his wet arrival . The most in-
terested of the spectators was Leon D. Cuddeback (being escorted under an um-
brella). One can only speculate that he is recalling his flight of 50 years before.
The warmth of Cuddeback's greeting to Hil-
bert at Boise showed one pilot's appreciation
of another.
the next day was good.
Hilbert got up at 4:15 A.M. on April 6 and went
right to the airport without any breakfast. Although
hundreds of persons showed up later to watch his
take-off at 6:23 A.M., Hilbert found himself alone at
the airport at first. The weather was menacing.
"I called flight service to get a weather briefing
and the FSS man told me, ' I wish I could tell you that
the weather will be better than it is' ," Hilbert recalled.
"He said the weather was so bad over the Blue Moun-
tains in Oregon that he didn' t think 1would get through
the pass."
By 5:45 A.M., special ceremonies with United and
Pasco officials got underway, and Hilbert fired up the
Swallow at 6:10 A.M. Rich Moen, who propped the
plane, said later he gave it five primes, " just like the
book says", and one more for luck, " and she popped
right off".
At 6:23 A.M., the same time of Cuddeback's take-
off, Hilbert was off the ground. He swung around and
made a low pass in front of the crowd, waved, and
headed the 244 miles to Boise.
A fleet of photo planes and antique aircraft, in-
cluding Dick McWhorter and Ed "Skeeter" Carlson,
both in Stearman C-3Bs, took off to escort him, but
most of them dropped off soon after as the weather
worsened rapidly. Within minutes, he reached the
Blue Mountains, which were smothered with low
hanging, thick clouds .
"Three planes, all with extensive instrumenta-
tion, were still with me," Hilbert recalled. "There
was Dan Toeppen in his Cessna 182, Clay Lacy in his
Fairchild Turbo-Porter and Jack Loeffler in his Cessna
180." All three are United pilots.
"Seeing them still with me, 1 said to myself, ' What
the heck am I trying to navigate for'?" Hilbert said.
Al though the early history of Hilbert's Swallow is not known, the
original factory plate showing its company serial number was still
attached to the old biplane before the restoration work began.
" So I call ed Toeppen on my portabl e I thought to myself that ' I better bring
radio and told him to lead and I would thi s thing in soon' o r I wo uld be in
follow. The n I jus t sat there and en- troubl e, so I went in and landed."
joyed myself. " Hundreds of persons were on hand
Simple as Hilbert makes that sound, to greet Hilbert, just as they did with
hi s courage in fl ying a bipl a ne 1,000 Cuddeback, a nd they ru shed towa rd
fee t above the te rrain with wall s of the Swallow as Hilbert taxied in. " I was
mountains and thick white cl ouds all really worri ed about that," he said.
around him got him through . Hilbert quickl y stopped the engine,
" Once we got past the mo untains "with it raining cats and dogs", a nd
and into Treasure Vall ey, it started to the first one to greet him was Cudde-
rain, and the rain ran down from the top back. He ca me up to me with tears in
of th e wing ri g ht int o the cockpit, " hi s eyes and sai d, "By dang it, you made
Hilbert said . "Then, for the first time, i (1"
I got cold." Hilbert pl ayed down hi s own emo-
Hilbert said the remainder of the two ti ons but sa id that "The tension on the
ho ur a nd 31 minut e fli g ht was " no ground must have been grea t beca use
sweat" as he followed a four-l ane high- they couldn' t see my pl ane until I was
way to Boise. " I found that I wa s going very cl ose in ." Bv that time, offi cial s
to arri ve early, so I circl ed a whil e to had rece ive d wo;d that mos t of th e
kill time a distance from the airport, but chase and escort pl anes had to land be-
the weather began deteriorating, with ca u se of th e ba d we ath e r a nd we re
a fog bank moving in toward the airport. sca tt ered at va ri ous airpo rt s betwee n
The Swallow being loaded into the DC-8F at O' Hare Interna-
tional Airport on March 23, 1976.
Pasco and Boise.
Hilbert la nded about 14 minutes ea rl y
as hi s arri va l was schedul ed for 10:10
A.M. , Boi se time, an hour la ter than
Pasco time. But he had made it, and in
the process had fall en in love with the
Swall ow.
"That plane is a bea uty, " he said. " It
is one of the ni cest old biplanes I have
ever fl own. It is smooth a nd responsive
but has one habit - it won' t stall. When
you ge t d own int o g round e ff ect , it
just won' t sit down. "
Hil be rt a nd Cudde bac k we re ce n-
ters of a ttracti o n at more ce remo nies
a t Boise, a nd Unit ed Airlin es a ft e r
Hilbe rt' s a rrival chri s te ned a Boeing
727 in Cuddeback's name.
Earl y the next morning, Hilbert was
off aga in, thi s time on the 200 mil e fli ght
to Elko . The wea ther was be tt er, bu t
the high mountains on thilt rou te were
worth noting well. " I had to get up to
10,500 feet to get over a 9,300 foot range,"
Hilbert said. Even though he made an
unschedul ed " bathroom" stop at Petan
Ranch airstrip, he arrived early at Elko.
"That particular leg, however, proved
to me that the men like Cuddeback who
pi onee red those routes were gia nts,"
Hilbert said. " It was the toughest I have
ever fl own. It was miles and mil es and
mil es of nothing, and I never had s uch
a feeling of insecurity in my life ."
Hilbert again was greeted by crowds,
a band and civic official s, and hi story
for a bri ef two days was reli ved . But
Hilbert 's Swallow fl ying days are s till
far from over. After a tour of cities that
will bring him back to the Midwest and
then on to Eas tern citi es ending in June,
the Swa llow will be on exhibit at the
Dayton Air Fair 76, Jul y 24 and 25, and ,
then, on to Oshkos h fo r the EAA Fly-
In, Jul y 31 - August 8th.
Tom Poberezny
How do you rate yourself as a pilot? Ask yourself
the following questions:
- How do you rate your pilot ability?
- What is your knowledge of your airplane's fly-
ing characteristics?
- What is your knowledge of aircraft regulations?
- Do you exercise common sense during pre-flight
and while in the air?
- Do you respect weather?
- Are you the pilot-in-command or do you depend
heavily on air traffic control?
There are numerous questions I could add to this
list, but the main purpose is to get you to take a good
look at yourself in your role as a licensed pilot.
The answers to these questions are going to depend
a great deal on the number of hours per year you fly,
whether you own your own airplane and whether or
not you are a professional pilot. But, I am sure that
after a review of your flying activities, you probably
will rate yourself too low. Pilots, in many cases, are
not giving themselves enough credit.
A strong case in point is your Annual Convention
in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. Throughout the day you will
see a mixture of aircraft in the traffic pattern varying
from small business jets and light twins to Bearcats,
Mustangs, Taylorcrafts, J-3 Cubs and a host of single
engine airplanes. The traffic is handled safely and pro-
fessionally. Common sense by controllers and pilots
alike allows Wittman Field to be the world's busiest
airport for one week each year - Without mishap. I
am sure there is yet to be a visitor to Oshkosh who has
not been completely amazed with the magnitude of
traffic and the efficiency with which it flows.
Yes, credit should go to the FAA Controllers (Witt-
man Tower and Gypsy Controllers) who work long
hours. They rank with the best in the business, ex-
emplifi ed by the professional, efficient and courteous
manner in which they handle the air traffic. Instruc-
tions are concise and to the point.
But what about that pilot up there in that busy
traffic pattern? He or she must react quickly to constantly
changing conditions and insure proper spacing with
other aircraft of widely varying flight characteristics
and speed ranges. The pilot must monitor other traffic
and be prepared to extend or shorten his pattern at
a moment ' s notice. And most important, the pilot must
be constantly exercising good judgment as to any unsafe
situations that may arise.
Pilots ... give yourself enough credit. Many of
you are better than you think you are. For the few who
may think they are better than they really are .. . be
careful. In all cases, exercise good common sense.
Remember, you are the captain of the ship. Good, safe
flying technique rests solely on your shoulders. Don' t
ever forget that.
Speaking of pilots, what is being done today to
encourage people to learn to fly or remain in aviation?
Aircraft rental costs are becoming prohibitive for the
non-aircraft owner to learn or remain proficient. What
enticement is there for aircraft ownership, considering
all the regulations, taxes, landing fees, and radio re-
quirements which have driven aircraft costs and prices
sky high. This is not to mention the inconveniences
many aircraft owners face trying to get to their aircraft
because of overzealous and costly airport security. What
incentive is there for the Flight Instructor, A & P
Mechanic of Fixed Base Operator? Hours are long and
pay is short. I am sure you have not heard of too many
A & P's or CFI's retiring at age 60 with a full benefit
It's getting harder and harder to build new airports
because of e nvir onmental rules. Development of
existing airports must compete with highways, educa-
tion and so forth .. . hence, in many areas little is done
to the local airport. Much of it depends on the personal
energies of the FBO/Airport Manager.
I am proud of the work that is being accomplished
by EAA members and chapters, deSignees, the Antiquel
Classic Division, International Aerobatic Club and
Warbirds. You are providing a reason to fly ... utiliza-
tion of the airplane. Through your efforts the public
is becoming more aware of aviation. Local chapter
meetings, fly-ins and your enthusiasm has rekindled
a strong interest in aviation. As I have said before, there
is hardly an aviation event today where you don't see
an EAA cap in the crowd.
Much has been accomplished, but we've only
scratched the surface. Your Headquarters staff is con-
tinually re-evaluating programs and looking for ways
to promote a healthy aviation picture. Let's continue
what is being done right and take action on what is
wrong or not being done at all.
To the Federal Aviation Administration, I ask: "What
are you doing to foster and promote aviation in the
United States?" I am asking this in a sincere, non-
sarcastic manner. Take a good look at your policies and
regulations and then look at the problems and condition
of the aviation industry today.
Enough said.
It's hard to believe that the Annual EAA Convention
in Oshkosh is only 60 days away. Though much has
been done there still is a great deal of preparation
facing all of us for this year's event. We need volunteers
to help prepare the site. If you can donate an hour, a
day or a weekend, contact Convention site Foreman,
Vern Lichtenberg at 414/233-1460.
For those of you who will be flying non-radio air-
craft to the Convention, please keep in mind that no
non-radio arrivals will be permitted after 4:00 p. m. The
reason for this is the air show and the heavy traffic
that results after its completion. Please plan your flight
of Events
June 16-20 - 1976 Staggerwingrrravel
Air International Convention , s ponsored by
Staggerwing Museum Foundation and
Staggerwing Club, Tullahoma, Tenn. Contact
John Parish, do Staggerwing Museum
Foundation, P.O. Box 550, Tullahoma, Tenn.
37388. Phone: 615-455-0691 (business) or
615-455-2190 (home).
June 18-20 - Pauls Valley Oklahoma -
Greater Oklahoma City Antique
Airplane Assn. Fly-In. Contact Alan Brakefield,
Rt. 3, Box 301A, Okla. City, OK 73127.
June 23-27 - Hammondsport, New York -
Flight of the June Bug, a replica of
the 1908 aircraft built and flown by Glenn H.
Curtiss, in conjunction with Bicentennial
Celebration. Contact Bill Fox, Pleasant Valley
Wine Co., Hammondsport , New York
14840. Phone: 607-569-2121.
June 26-27 - Wisconsin Chapter AAA
Grass Roots Fly-In, Clearwater Resort ,
Clearwater, WI.
June 26-27 - Wellsville Aviation Club,
Inc., Great Wellsville Air Show Poker Rally Air
Race. Spot Landing Contests, Flour
Bombing, Best in Class Aircraft prizes and
trophies . Wellsville Municipal Airport,
Wellsville, NY. (Raindate Jul y 10).
July 3-4 - Gainesville, Georgia - 9th Annual
Cracker Fly-In. Sponsored by North
Georgia Chapter of AAA, Antiques, Classics,
Homebuilts and Warbirds welcome.
Contact Bill Davis, 2202 Willivee Place,
Decatur, GA 30033.
July 10-11 - Annual EAA Chapter 62 Fl y-In,
Hollister, CA. Contact D. Borg, 6948
Burning Tree, San Jose, CA 95119.
July 10-11 - 17th Annual AAA Fly- In, DuPage
County Airport , West Chicago, Illinois.
Phone 312-763-7114.
July 31 - August 8 - Oshkosh, Wisconsin -
24th Annual EAA International Fly-In
Convention. Start making your plans NOW!
August 29-September 6 - Blakesburg, Iowa -
6th Annual Invitational AAA-APM Fly-In.
August 30 - September 3 - Fond du Lac,
Wisconsin - 11 th Annual EAAIIAC
International Aerobatic Championships. Spon-
sored by International Aerobatic Club.
September 17-19 - Georgetown, South
Carolina - Second Annual Spirit of 76 Fly-In at
Georgetown County Airport, South Carolina.
Sponsored by Chapter 543 Antiquel
Classics, Warbirds and Homebuilt s. For infor-
mation contact Herb Bailey, P.O. Box
619, Georgetown, SC 29440. (803) 546-2525
days; (803) 546-3357 nights and weekends.
It was a warm spring day, just like today. The temper-
ature climbing up to seventy. The first warm clear great
day when nature comes alive all around you. I remember
crossing the open fields toward the corner store near the
railroad tracks. Seeing signs of new life beginning in all
varieties of wild flowers . Dandelions, pussy willows, and
early flight of the bumblebees. What a great part of the
year this is in the north after the cold days we have all
come through during the past winter.
Suddenly, an awful roar fills the air. Glancing over-
head my eyes fix toward the sound and out of the sky
comes an airplane; twisting, and turning all the time
straight down! The engine sounds like it quit but he
continues to turn around seven, eight times. I notice as he
comes closer and closer to the ground during each revolu-
tion the plane has two wings and it is a brick red color.
Then, just as it seems it would crash, the pilot gets control
of it and flies along the tracks twisting the airplane in a roll
as he flies further away.
At first I thought he must be crazy to make an airplane
do that; but as he appeared again over and over during
the summer months, he always began his routine over
the neighborhood with the roar of the engine and the
descending spin. Through the year we all began to learn
his repertoire of spins, loops, slow rolls and the like; as
this young bird exercised hi s new wings in flight.
The year as best I can remember was 1937 and the
aircraft must have been an American Eagle which was
leased at the local airport called "York Tip", short for
York Township Airport, which was operated by the Mil-
ler brothers just south of Lombard, Illinois. The pilot was
Jack Brissey, and the neighborhood was an area called
Belmont Station, which is just west of Downers Grove,
Illinois .
Jack became a captain forT.W.A. and regrettably died
of a heart attack while on approach to Los Angeles Air-
port at the height of his ascending career.
I talked to Jack many times after I learned he lived near
my home, and still attribute my flying fever to his efforts.
I still have a partial set of an early aeronautic magazine
course which he said was, "All the important parts of
learning how to fly." To me the air above has never been
the same since Jack first made that spin into my life many
spring days ago. Alfred F. Campbell
913 Riedy Road
Lisle, Illinois 60532
Antique/Classic Division 109
(Restoring 1946 Ercoupe)
P.S. If you don' t use the story, it won't make me feel any
different about spring.
Springtime and dandelions are as synonymous as
apple pie and coffee, bacon and eggs. Some people hate
dandelions. How could anyone hate a (Cub yellow)
flower like that? As soon as the green fields are dotted
with dandelions r dream of the days when the sky was
full of yellow Cubs. Come spring, I walk my grass strip
daily, testing for firm enough ground to get the Cub out
and literally wallow around in that blue sky full of Spring
air. Every yellow dotted pasture just beckons for a touch
and go (careful now, don't crush the dandelions) full
throttle and back you go into that ocean of blue floating
on spring green landscape. Yep, there ain't nothin' like it
nowhere no how!
A Cub is just the most flying fun wrapped in a pretty
yaller package! Some call it an old man's airplane. Careful
there sonny boy - if it gets to feeling playful it might
throw you. Guess they forgot to tell you young fellows
you fly it, don't drive it. A gentle touch and it will do
anything. Stand on its tail for instance, do somersaults,
fly sideways.
With a Spring zepher (one of those solid breezes that's'
like something shot out of a hose) you can fly backwards.
Just don't get the idea you are going anywhere, for that it
won't (very fast that is). Yet for those old enough to have
learned patience, it is contentment. A slow sightseeing
trip is sheer ecstacy. A panorama of interesting sights
awaits you: A farmer working in the field, his wife hang-
ing out clothes; a constant stream of cars passing (forward
that is) to watch; a bread truck passes making a delivery at
the next town and passes again. You just smile and wave
from your 500 foot perch. Looking back, the farmer's wife
is already taking down the wash (dry that is) . Better start
looking for a field - the plane'S tank is as short as mine.
No airstrip in sight! Tha t farmer down there has a tractor
and that must be gas in those cans on the wagon. Nice of
him to leave a long strip unplowed. (Downwind you say
sonny?) Whatszat? Tractor gas you say sonny? That's
dynamite compared to the 70 octane thi s thing was
weaned on. Now you see we can just turn around and
take off - upwind that is. Don't ever get any ideas of
trying this on your tricycle - they just ain't pasture
airplanes. Now if you want to go from point A to point B
in a hurry, just sweat it out on your tricycle. If you would
rather go from point A to point G, there is a slice of golden
age waiting for you on any little grass patch that has a
pretty yellow Cub sitting among those pretty yell ow
dandelions .
When I get too old to fly, I'll just turn my Cub out to
pasture to graze among the dandelions.
Percy Bricker (EAA 15612)
Saxton, Iowa 54110
Mr. AI Kelch:
Enclosed check forAntique/Classic
membership, Ienjoyyour magazine.
Idon' t think manyofthetricycle pilots
reallyrealizethedebtofgratitudetheyowethe old
pioneerpilotsthat flew newair routes,and
the risks they went through to perfect
theequipment and aircraftthey now
take forgranted.
I'd like to see a monthlyarticle likethe
"50thanniversaryofCommerical Trans-
portation" as perJan.76 issue.
There were manydistance orendurance
flights in the20s & 30s. I believe some articles
ofthose flights would be ofinterestto some
who were tooyoung to remember or
flight records they never heard of.
You have a good magazineand Ienjoy it .
Oran Barber,66833
P.O. Box 244
Safety Harbor, FL 33572
March 3, 1976
I received the Jan. 1976 issue of
The Vintage Airplane and notethat it was
sent to my bUSiness address. Please send
all future issues to my home address.
Incidentally, I was a bitdismayed with the
new "oblong" format ofthe Jan. 1976
issue. You are probably not aware of this, but
manyofwe Antique/ Classic members have
ourissues ofThe Vintage Airplane hardbound
foreasier reference and long term
preservation,and " 10 & behold" you have
dealt us a lowblow.Seriously, Idohopethat
you return to theold standard magazine
type format . Idohopethatyou
take this good natured butserious critique
to heartand either return tothe old
format ,orretain the present format forquite
some time to come.(Hopefully, return to
the old format) .
Carmen D. Perrotti Jr., No.22
38 Mt . Hood Terrace
Melrose, Mass.02176
Editor 's Note: I have minebound too.
We willprobablykeep this format for some time.
Info on binding will be forthcoming.
January5, 1976
Dear Buck:
I neverdid find anyoriginal wheel parts for my
J-3,so I am going to get a pairof plastic
onesand try to pound outsome from aluminum
which I hopewill turn outwell. Idid
some ofthis sort ofthing when I was atthe
Boeing School in Oakland back in the 1930' s.
You said inyour last notethat you
wished you were retired. Well, I will have been
away from the airline4 years next
month.The first coupleofyears Ijustdidn' t
seem to like itand wished I was back
atwork.GraduallyIgotusetoit ,and nowIdolike
it and enjoy it .I have two planes,the J-3
with a 90 hp Continental and a good
Cessna 170-B with a 145 hp Continental in it .
This makes itevery nice as the engines
are alike in so many parts. I keep
spare cylinders, pistons, valves, etc.,and I
can use them in either plane. I have my A and P
license and do some ofthe work myself.
and The Vintage Airplane magazines,also
the ones from the AAA. In some ways I
thinkthe AAA is moreon the right
track than the EAA,especially in nottrying
to have a field day foreveryone. Isuppose there
are many pro' s and con 's.
Iam also very strong in myopinion that
the antique ought to be flown straight
and level notwrung out. It seems
to me this should be a constantthemesong.
I feel so badly when I read, now and
then, about the failure ofsome
antique that was being asked to do something
that it probablywasn' t designed for
in the first place, and that manyyears ago.
Ialso thinkWag Aero is on the right
track in making the plansavailable forthe
CUBy. Nowwouldn ' t it be something if
we had planstosay nothing about
kits, for the Wacos,Travelairs and so
forth? That ,to me, is something
that would really keep the antique movement
alive and bring in the youngerbuilders,
who are what we must have eventually in both the
EAA and the AAA. Seems to me there
must besome way togetthese plans and
specifications. I' d sure like to build a new
Bellanca orFairchild.
Personally,Ienjoyeach issue of
The Vintage Airplane very much. Ithinkthe
stories are good, and I think it is
well worth the money. In fact , Ithink it is so
good that itseems to me it could be sold
fora higherprice. I really likewhat
Tony Bingeliswrites in SPORTAVIATION.
Seemsto me ifwe had something
like that in The Vintage Airplane it would help.
Ifwe had the plans on howto home-build
a Waco UPF orsomeothervery good
plane, and ran it as plans in serial form,
it would be a way to get EAA members
to wanttheantique magazineenough to join
thedivision.There are probably betteranswers
than Ican think of ,butthere are answers.
Well Buck, I' ve rambled on and not
said much ,but in closing Iwant to
thankyou again fortrying to help me find
those original pants for my J-3.
Yours truly,
Howard C. Holman
Wayne, Maine04284
Dear Sirs:
Thank you very much foryour letter
dated Feb. 28, 1976. We would liketo tell you
that ourworkon the VilMA-plane is going
rapidly forward . As far as we know, we aren' t
short ofa single piece to that aeroplaneand
it is being put together now. We look
forward to have ittest-flown before
midsummer ' 76.
We can also tell you that we have taken
photosevery now and then during the work.
Unfortunatelythey all are color. We
understood that you wanted to have black and
white photos, ordo you have any use of
The opportunit y to write an article to your
magazine is wonderful and we are more than
pleased to be able tosend you that
story ofourVilMA. We hopethatyou can wait
to the end of summer, becauseafterthat
we will have someexperience and something
to write about. Then we will send you
all the facts, history and otherthings concerning
thi s type,- and probablysome photos taken
when the VilMA is in the air!
We enclose with this lettera card showing
you what kind ofaeroplane it is and how
it was painted earlier . VilMA isas a
type copied from the famous Focke-Wulf
Stieglitz.The motoris the same one, Siemens-
Hal ske Bramo SH 14 A 4.There are,according
to my knowledge,three Stieglitz' s flying
around in Finland. We lookforward to compair
these two types sometime.
Wi shing you all the very best and a
happy Spring,
Your' s
Mr.K. Mustonen
Mr.J. Ahlstrom
Dear Sirs:
I'd like toorderyour VintageAirplane
magazine for 1976. Ifit is possible I'd like to
have also the first numbers of 76.
You can send the bill and the magazineto:
Mr.John Ahlstrom
Bergmansgatan 5 A 8
00140 Helsingfors 14
Very manythanks in advance,
Johan AhlstrOm
In regard to "Breath of Life" in Feb. 1976
issue ofVintage Airplane.
Mr. Richard ConnoleyofRidgefield,
Connecticut,keptNC 11Yat Danbury,Connecticut
during 1940-1941. He flew it regularly
on business. Its big fuel tanks were a ready
source from which to "borrow" gas
when the Cub trainers went dryand Texaco was
late withdeliveries. We washed herdown
with " gunk" ' til the aluminum glistened and
nursed sore musclesfrom pushing in and
outofthe hangar. Fordetailswrite :
CliffSadler, Manager, Danbury Airport, Danbury,
Have photo taken at Danbury if
you want.
Charles Steffens,Jr.
37 Coleman Road
Glastonbury, CT 06033
WANTED: 1941 Stinson 10-A. Mu:" u" ferriable.
Prefer one with 90 hp Franklin, but will consider
any, including the 1939 model , HW-75. Wayne
Alsworth,Sr., Port Alsworth, Alaska 99653.
FOR SALE: Waco S.R. E. Basket Case. Cabin
biplane with 450 hp, P&W engine. Blue prints
available, $27.00. Ted Voorhees, 6778 Skyline
Drive, Delray Beach, FL 33446.
WANTED: Antique wood propeller for my den.
W. N. Schultz, Jr., P.O. Box 386, Madison, NC
27025. 919/548-9648, days;548-2496, nights.