Dave Bole of Enumclaw, WA has recently found and installed a new old stock cowling for his Howard. The Howard cowling replaces a "Santa Paula style" BT-13 cowling that was much larger than the original. Sunday was the first flight after several months of bending metal.
Whether called a Fleet, Husky Jr., Fawn, Finch or YPT-6, Consolidated Aircraft's iconic design has been an integral part of AAA functions from inception in 1953. And though this piece will only touch on a hand full of those that have attended our AAA National Fly-ins from Ottumwa, Oskaloosa, Oshkosh, Bartlesville or Blakesburg, be assured that the Consolidated Fleet series of aircraft will remain an integral part of AAA functions into the future.
In researching the aircraft that attended the initial AAA National Fly-ins (1954-1957), we discovered a trio of Fleets that not only attended those early AAA Fly-ins but are still flying and attending our annual AAA/APM Invitational Fly-ins.
The first of those is a 1929 Fleet Model 1, sn # 28, NC8616. This Warner powered Fleet attended the 2nd National AAA Fly-in at Ottumwa in 1955. At the time it was owned/flown by Wayne Risk and Chet Peek of Sioux City, IA. Chet of course, is a well known author of aviation histories such as; The Pietenpol Story, Flying With 40 Horses, Resurrection of a Jenny and several others. It was with Chet in this Fleet, that AAA founder & President Robert Taylor received his first open cockpit biplane ride in 1955. NC8616 is currently owned/flown by Ron Price of Vinesburg, CA. This black & yellow Fleet has been a regular attendee at the AAA/APM Fly-ins here at Antique Airfield over the last ten years or so and we hope to see it back again in 2013. Maybe we can even talk Ron into taking RLT for another ride in NC8616.
Fleet model 1, NC8616, attended the 2nd Annual AAA Fly-in at Ottumwa, in 1955 (AAA Archives)
NC8616 at a recent AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in at Antique Airfield. (Chuck Stewart photo)
The next Fleet, a 1929 model 2, sn#154, NC431K has been in attendance at AAA National Fly-ins since 1956 and at almost every location the AAA National Fly-in has been held at. In searching through all the Fleet pictures contained in the AAA photo archives I ran across a picture of NC431K, dated 1956, with the following notation on the back; Fleet 2 owned at one time by member Henry Lillybeck of Ft. Lauderdale, FL was at Oshkosh Fly-in. Now for those reading this bit of news for the first time, the 1956 AAA National Fly-in was a onetime combined event with the EAA at Oshkosh, WI. While we're not certain who owned it at that time, we would surmise it was likely Joan Richardson (Moline, IL), who owned this particular Fleet for years. NC431K has attended AAA National Fly-ins at Oshkosh, Oskaloosa, Ottumwa and Blakesburg. Other owners of NC431K include current owner Stan Sweikar, E.E. "Buck" Hilbert, and Rob Bach's father, author Richard Bach. NC431K was chosen as the Sweepstakes Antique award winner at the 2012 AAA/APM National Fly-in here at Antique Airfield last August.
NC431K first attended the AAA national Fly-in in 1956 (AAA Archives)
NC431K at an AAA National Fly-in at Oskaloosa, IA in the late 1950's (AAA Archives)
NC431K at Ottumwa during the AAA National Fly-in in the 1960's (AAA Archives)
NC431K at Antique Airfield during the 1971 AAA/APM Fly-in. 1971 was the first year the AAA National Fly-in was held at Antique Airfield. (AAA Archives)
"Buck" Hilbert and NC431K at Antique Airfield during the 1973 AAA/APM Fly-in. (AAA Archives)
Author Richard Bach stopped by Antique Airfield in July of 1977 with NC431K (AAA Archives)
NC431K as she looks today. Stan Sweikar recently completed an award winning restoration on this long time AAA Fly-in attendee. (Gilles Auliard photo)
The third Fleet is a 1941 Fleet 16B, sn #663, N237D. This Warner powered Fleet has been in the Frost family of Le Sueur, MN since the late 60's. Ed Frost and his son Larry were regular attendees at the AAA/APM Fly-ins here at Antique Airfield from the start in 1971. In fact Larry and his bride Barb honeymooned in the Fleet at the 1972 AAA/APM Fly-in. Though both Ed and Larry have "Gone West", Barb, daughter Shannon and nephew Nathan continue attending as well as volunteering their time and talents here at Antique Airfield during the AAA/APM Fly-ins.
Of course many other Fleets have been attending our AAA National Fly-ins over the last sixty years and we look forward to many more gracing the grass here at Antique Airfield in the future.
Larry, Barb Frost and Fleet N237D while on their honeymoon at the 1972 AAA/APM Fly-in at Antique Airfield. (Joe Durham photo)
The Frost's Fleet at Antique Airfield during the 1970's
N237D on the cover of the The International Antique Airplane Digest shortly after Larry completed a total rebuild of Fleet in 1984. (Brent Taylor photo)
Polishers are dedicated. Josh Cawthra of Renton, WA, was out doing a spring shine-up in unusually warm weather at 10pm at Auburn, WA airport. Josh's Cessna 140 is the beneficiary of a new interior, newly overhauled engine, new tailwheel, and now freshly shined up skins.
Since publication of the list of aircraft that attended our first AAA Fly-ins (1954 – 1957) on the website and in the latest issue of the Antique Airfield Runway, continuing research has turned up a few more antiques that were in attendance at those early events. While we still have not been able to locate any official records from the 1955 AAA Fly-in at Ottumwa, newspaper accounts have helped us to add three more aircraft to the total list and a caption on the back of another photo has helped to confirm its attendance at the 1956 Fly-in.
Those aircraft from 1955 include; (1) Great Lakes 2T-1A, N11338, Bob MacGregor, now owned by Steve Benson of Keenesburg, CO, (2) Stinson SM-8A, N1026, R. Clarence, now owned by Rooke Everill of Celina, TX &
(3) Fleet 1, N8616, Wayne Risk & Chet Peek, now owned by Ron Price of Vinesburg, CA.
In addition to the previously listed aircraft attending the combined AAA/EAA National Fly-in at Oshkosh, WI in 1956, we can add Fleet 2, N431K, now owned by Stan Sweikar of Dameron, MD.
Interestingly, both the Fleets mentioned above have been regular visitors to Antique Airfield throughout the years. In fact Stan Sweikar’s Fleet was voted the Sweepstakes Antique award winner at the 2012 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in. Also, Ron Price’s Fleet holds the distinction of being the first open cockpit biplane AAA founder & president, Robert Taylor, had a ride in. Well known aviation author, Chet Peek was the owner and pilot at the time of that flight.
Before closing out this report we’re happy to report that one of the aircraft attending our very first National AAA Fly-in in 1954 will be in attendance at the 2013 AAA/APM Fly-in as part of our “Diamond Jubilee” celebrations. That aircraft, Pietenpol Aircamper, NX13691, is currently owned by Maryann Dunn of Youngstown ,OH but likely will be flown to Antique Airfield by Andrew King. We hope this is the first of many such early attendees that plan to be in attendance at our 60th Annual Fly-in.
This Stinson SM-8A attended the 2nd AAA National Fly-in at Ottumwa in 1955. Currently flying in TX, this photo was taken at the 2010 TX chapter AAA fly-in, Gainesville, TX. (Brent Taylor photo)
Fleet 1, N8616 at the 1955 National Fly-in at Ottumwa. AAA founder/president Robert Taylor had his first open cockpit biplane ride in this Fleet (AAA archives)
NC8616 as she appears today. Owned by Ron Price, this Fleet has been a regular visitor to Antique Airfield over the last several years. (Gilles Auliard photo)
The caption on the back of this photo stated this Fleet 2, N431K, had attended the 1956 AAA/EAA National Fly-in, Oshkosh, WI. (AAA archives)
NC431K at the 2012 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in. Just freshly retored by owner Stan Sweikar, it was a big award winner at the event. (Nigel Hitchman photo)
Attending the 1st AAA National Fly-in, this Model A powered Pietenpol Aircamper, NX13691 is planning to be in attendance at our 60th Annual Fly-in as well. (Gille Auliard photo)
Has it really been Ten Years? Some say it has but it's hard to believe but 2013 marks the tenth anniversary of the Aviation Foundation of America’s National Air Tour (NAT) of 2003.
For those who may be unaware of its history, the original NAT’s date back to the 1920’s. In the mid-1920s, at a time when there was not even a single road reaching across the United States, air travel was beginning to unite the country. In capturing this spirit, the National Air Tours were conceived in 1925 to demonstrate the reliability of air travel, to encourage the development of safe and reliable aircraft, and to promote the building of suitable airports and ground facilities.
The air tours were an efficiency contest held each year from 1925 through 1931. Initially called the Commercial Airplane Reliability Tour, they were subsequently promoted as “The Commercial Airplane Reliability Tour for the Edsel B. Ford Trophy”, sometimes shortened to the Ford Reliability Tour and later, the National Air Tour. The tour gave airplane builders an opportunity to take their latest models around the country in a well-publicized contest to "show the flag" for dealers and salespeople, and to convince the public in general that they should "take to the air." It also was used to encourage the development of airports. At the time "airports" consisted largely of farmers' pastures, County Fairgrounds, or a sandbar down in the riverbed. As cities competed for inclusion in the tours, the race was on to develop suitable airports to attract the organizing committee and to be a part of the new air age.
The first tour, modest in scope and size compared to later tours, visited twelve cities in the Midwest and returned six days later. Its announced purpose was, "to end the dominance of the military and the emphasis on thrills and stunt flying, demonstrate the reliability of travel by air in a predetermined schedule regardless of intermediate ground facilities."
When the National Air Tours came to town, everybody went out to see the latest airplanes, their romantic pilots, and what was often the town's new airport. Between 1925 and 1931, the tours introduced literally millions of people to the idea of air travel. Having been designed to convince the public of the reliability, and the viability, of travel by air, the National Air Tours were one of the most successful promotional efforts of the 20th Century. We are still enjoying the benefits today.
It was knowledge of those original tours that inspired Greg Herrick to form the Aviation Foundation of America to plan, as a major part of the “Centennial of Flight” celebrations, the 2003 National Air Tour. The 2003 NAT was a 4,000-mile journey who’s path followed that of the uncompleted 1932 NAT with 25 antique aircraft landing in more than two-dozen cities. To read more about the 2003 NAT we suggest you check out their website .
In planning for a ten year reunion of that highly successful 2003 NAT, Greg Herrick requested that reunion be held at Antique Airfield as part of the 2013 AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in (Aug 28th – Sept 2nd). The boards of both the AAA & APM as well as the pilots, crews and personnel of the 2003 NAT look forward to once again meeting at Antique Airfield for this, their upcoming 10th reunion.
At present some fifty plus participants and 8 tour planes from the 2003 NAT plan on being at Antique Airfield for the reunion and the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in. We are hopeful many more of the 2003 NAT aircraft will be on hand, especially a couple of those tour planes that as yet have not graced the grass here at Antique Airfield, including the Bellanca “Miss Veedol” & the Ryan M-1. Those NAT planes/participants that at present have indicated they will be in attendance include:
NAT #15, Waco UEC, John Swander, DeSoto, KS (photo by Nigel Hitchman)
NAT #2, Travel Air 4000, Roger Gomoll, Roseville, MN (photo by Roger Gomoll)
NAT #4, Travel Air 6000, Hank Galpin/ Ray Sanders, Kalispell, MT (photo by Gilles Auliard)
NAT #7, Waco ASO, Rich Hornbeck, Bowdoinham, ME (photo by Brent Blue)
NAT #27, Travel Air 4000, Clay Adams, Rosemount, MN (photo by Nigel Hitchman)
NAT #10, Bird CK, Bob Newhouse, Rockford, IL (photo by Nigel Hitchman)
We will keep all our AAA members and fans updated as to what NAT aircraft and crews will be in attendance here on our website and facebook page, so check back often. In the meantime we look forward to seeing all the NAT participants and aircraft here at the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in Aug 28th – Sep 2nd.
Smiles all around at another Marginal Meeting and Work night in the Marginal Restoration Center. Members take a break from the THP or the "Toby Hanson Project" and enjoy Northfield's finest take and bake pizza as some continue to work but most enjoy the friendly setting.
President Toby Hanson and members Tim Verhouven, Ben Redman and Jeremy Redman inspect the overall good condition of this very low time 1946 Luscoumbe 8A project.
Third generation member Liam Redman is always ready to roll up his sleeves' and dig into the project and the pizza too!!! Liam really looks forward to the meeting and work nights.
The engine mount backing plates where all taken off then inspected for corrosion, bead blasted and than epoxy painted before being reinstalled onto the firewall. The condition was found to be excellent.
This whole project has just turned into a wonderful experience. Just seeing the second generation and the third generation Marginal members not only working together but teaching each other new skills is what Marginal represents. Of course this is all done under the supervision of Marginal's original members who might not ever admit learning anything from the second generation, or the third?! We are all looking forward to the 2013 AAA/APM fly-in and we'll see you there! Enjoy and fly safe.
Russell Williams sent photos of some new tooling for overhauling Warner 165 engines:
Warner 165 engines need a fixture for pressing in the knuckle pins for the master rod assembly. The knuckle pins press into the link rods, so you need to apply some force. However the knuckle pin bushings in the master rod must have a certain protrusion on the inside of the master rod, and if you press in the pin without supporting the end of the link rod, the bushing in the master rod will be partially pressed out. That does all sorts of bad things including cutting off the oil feed hole to the knuckle pin!
This fixture supports the link rod at just the right height to avoid pressing out the master rod bushings when pressing in or out knuckle pins. Thanks to Addison Pemberton at Spokane Felts Field for use of his machine tools and expertise!
Dick Fisher's reproduction Bendix wheels look great on restored antiques, but finding an authentic looking smooth tire can be difficult. Hans Gautschi, in Beinwil-am-See, Switzerland, sent us photos of how he made his own smoothies for his Hatz project:
The tires for 16" wheels are the same size as a Harley, so treaded tires are readily available. Hans tried several different tire brands. The first several tries resulted in tires that didn't rotate evenly. Hans has had success with the Shinko E240 tire, which results in a 25" diameter that weights 11 lbs when smooth. Hans says:
I mounted the tire on an ordinary aluminum motorcycle rim to which I fitted an axle to mount it in a big lathe. Then it took me about 3 hours per tire to cut most of the thread down with a special HSS tool while turning it at the lowest possible rpm, which was 300/min. The tool is like a Stanley chisel, only with a steeper angle and a curved edge.
I quickly found out that it was necessary to sharpen the tool after a short time of use. The cutting angle of the tool seems to be important! Position so you can get off long filaments of rubber (like spaghetti). When down to the last 1/16" of tread it became hard to remove more. It seems that the rubber there is harder.
Then I took a belt sander (#40 grit) and worked against the rotation by just holding it on the tire and following along the section of the tire. Always stop and check if the amount of thread is equal over the whole tire. I found out that it was not even at all places, so I took a disk sander with #60 grid paper and sanded the whole surface for an even tread. Then again with the belt sander and again with the disc sander.
When you just see a few marks of the thread, smooth it out with wet sanding fine paper (gradually up to #240).
I hope the tire lives for at least 5 years (if we don’t crash the Hatz in the first flight!)