1972 Pietenpol Scout
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Donated By: Gary Baglein
The Scout is pure Pietenpol, which obscures its rareness. For all the prolific numbers of Pietenpol Aircampers built since 1932, only three Model A Scouts have been built: the original by Bernard Pietenpol himself, and two replicas. It is commonly accepted as a single place Aircamper by Pietenpol enthusiasts and that is basically what it is to the eye. There are, however, several structural and dimensional differences. It didn't begin as an Aircamper variant, but actually had a development line of its own.
In 1931 Bernard Pietenpol built a single-place, Model T powered aircraft he named Sky Scout. The limitations of Model T power were quite severe, but these were lifted considerably with the advent of the Model A. Bernard redesigned the Scout around the Model A and built one in 1932, incorporating several of the features that were to become a part of the famous Aircamper. The legend of the Aircamper began about that time also, and consequently the Model A Scout fell into obscurity.
During the restoration of the original Scout, measurements were made and construction began on an identical airframe. It first flew in 1972 powered with a Chevrolet Vega engine and became the first replica of the original Scout. This is the airplane that now belongs to the APM.
The Vega was removed and replaced with a Model A in the orignal style. The panel was also returned to original and the gear struts refinished in brass. Thus was made the Scout an absolute replica of the original. It was flown to Blakesburg in 1977, where it was an instant sensation, and returned home with an armload of trophies.
Bernard Pietenpol did not publish plans for the original - it was strictly a one-off. It was pure luck that it found its way to a place where it would be replicated, and then replicated once more. Its also interesting that after a span of forty-nine years all three are still flying -- and stand an excellent chance of being at Antique Airfield at the same time.