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Arctic Tern Advocate in Anchorage

Posted in Members | July 25, 2014

William Quirk, in Anchorage, AK sent this story about Arctic Terns, an evolution of Interstate Cadets which are a Featured Aircraft for the 2014 AAA/APM Stars of the Sky and Screen Fly-In.

My interest in the subject comes from the Arctic Tern I purchased on August 8, 1997. I have logged 2,580 hours in the Tern as Pilot in Command in Alaska during the past 17 years. The Arctic Tern is on Alaskan Bushwheels in summer and Landes Skis in the winter. The Tern has excellent backcountry capability and has allowed me to explore and safely land in hundreds of remote locations. Many of these landings are first-time events where no aircraft has landed before. The Tern is a sturdily built aircraft and a marvelous flying machine. It is very stable in the air even at near stall speed. It is easy to fly and it handles extremely well even in gusty wind conditions. The huge slotted flaps, which help to generate a slow stall speed (near 32 miles per hour), and the excellent visibility over the cowling allow great landing capability on short landing surfaces on river gravel bars, beaches and mudflats (when dry), grass-covered sod, tundra and snow-covered surfaces on skis in winter on natural terrain, frozen lakes, glaciers and ice fields. The extra space in the cockpit makes the Tern very comfortable and a pleasure to fly. The large 6-foot cargo tray is a great asset, not only for the large space but also for the large door, which allows the easiest loading and unloading of large items of any of the tandem taildraggers.

Arctic Tern (N48027) ski landing in Ruth Amphitheater near Mt. McKinley on April 2nd, 2013. Elevation 5,800 ft., temperature 10 degrees F

My Arctic Tern was originally manufactured as an Interstate Cadet by the Interstate Aircraft and Engineering Corporation based in El Segundo, California in 1942. The manufacturer’s aircraft designation is S-1B1. The Aircraft Serial Number is 11. The Aircraft Registration is N48027. This aircraft was flown 508 hours in 40 years as an Interstate S-1B1. In 1982, the airplane was disassembled and rebuilt to Arctic Tern specifications by Glen Brukheimer.

Bill Diehl purchased Interstate’s tooling and brought it to Anchorage, Alaska in the late 1060s. He transformed the Interstate Aircraft into a bush plane by upgrading the structural elements of the fuselage, landing gear, and wings. He extended and squared off the wings, added a large cargo tray, and a new clam shell engine cowling. The engine was a 160 H O-320 Lycoming. The redesigned aircraft was Type Certificated by FAA and designated the Interstate S-1B2. It has come to be known as the Arctic Tern. Thirty one (31) Arctic Terns were built in the concrete block building near Anchorage International Airport between 1975 and 1985. Ten (10) additional Arctic Terns were built by disassembling and converting Interstate S-1B1s to Arctic Terns. Bill also designed and built four-place Arctic Terns called Privateers. He has built 5 Privateers.

Glen Burkheimer owned his newly-built Arctic Tern from 1982 to 1997. He logged 460 hours in 15 years (31 Hours/Year). I purchased the airplane in August 1997 and have flown it 2,580 hours (152 Hours/Year) in the past 17 years. This airplane was an Interstate Cadet for 40 years and has been an Arctic Tern for the past 32 years. The airplane has performed well for 72 years (3,548 hours) and it still has lots of flight time remaining. I call it my Trusty Arctic Tern.

I am very excited and optimistic that the newly designed Arctic Tern by Arctic Aircraft Company will become a reality and that it will soon be built and available to pilots flying the remote backcountry. Manufacturing the new Tern will hopefully make it possible for all of us with the original Tern to have a ready supply of parts when we need an upgrade or replacement due to damage to our aircraft. Keeping the Tern alive is great news to all of us who fly them. Half of the Arctic Terns that we originally built 30 to 40 years ago in Alaska are still flying today. Fourteen (14) pilots are flying Arctic Terns in Alaska. Six (6) pilots are flying Arctic Terns in the Continental US. A few other Terns are flown by Pilots in foreign countries.

Alaska will play a crucial role in selling the first newly built Arctic Terns. This is because the first Arctic Terns were being built and flown in Alaska and because the Tern’s outstanding flying characteristics in the bush. This is an aircraft that serves Alaska well. Pilots flying the Arctic Tern after a short period of time will be shocked at the great flying characteristics of the airplane and its suitability to access remote lands in Alaska. With highly respectable pilots in Alaska endorsing the Tern, sales will then spread elsewhere, especially in Canada, continental US and foreign countries.

When talking with Bill Diehl (designer and builder of the Arctic Tern) at Anchorage’s Aviation Trade Show a few years ago, I mentioned my Arctic Tern ski landing on the Kahiltna Glacier at 7,200 feet ASL at the mount McKinley Mountain Climbing Base Camp on March 28, 2008. Bill countered with his over-the-top flight of Mount McKinley in his Arctic Tern (Lycoming O-320, 150 horsepower) on Easter Sunday. Bill had an oxygen supply and had a difficult time gaining sufficient altitude near the summit to fly over the top of Mount McKinley which is 20,320 feet ASL. The air at 20,000 feet was thin and the engine had a greatly reduced amount of horsepower. Theoretically, engine horsepower would be diminished about 60 percent at this altitude. However, the cold air, which was well below zero Fahrenheit, greatly reduced density altitude. Bill said he was circling the peak with flaps employed trying to climb high enough to fly over the peak. He finally climbed high enough to fly over McKinley’s summit. When he looked down at the summit when he passed over it, the height above the top of the mountain was only 50 feet. WOW! What a great accomplishment.

All the best to Arctic Aircraft Company. You can count on many loyal supporters in Alaska. We are all pulling for you.

William A Quirk III

Michigan Chapter July 2014 Newsletter

Posted in News | July 25, 2014

Here's the Michigan Chapter July 2014 Chapter Newsletter.

Volunteers Needed!

Posted in News | July 23, 2014

The 2014 AAA/APM National Fly-in is just around the corner (Aug 27th - Sep 1st) and it is time to get Antique Airfield ready for another great year. We have put in an order for cool, dry weather at this years event, so hopefully it will not get mixed up with the state fair like weather we had in 2013.

The latest Antique Airfield Runway containing the fly-in information package was mailed early in July and pre-registrations are coming in strong. As was announced in the 'Runway, at this years fly-in we will be celebrating "Stars of the Sky & Screen" and featuring Interstate & Great Lakes aircraft. Currently we have five theme aircraft, six Interstates & a Great Lakes pre-registered among the more than sixty pre-registered aircraft.

As participation of featured aircraft and activities are confirmed, details will be available here on the web site, and on our Facebook page.

As usual, we are planning a series of work weekends to prepare Antique Airfield for the event and this letter is a request for your assistance. We have the usual projects to do to get Antique Airfield ready, some improvement projects and some work in relation to the new APM Restoration Center to accomplish. Those include finishing the new roof on the "Flymarket", installing the ceiling steel in the APM Restoration Center, work on the "Library of Flight", painting and re-installation of the new AAA Headquarters sign, installation of a new wind "T", as well as the usual cleaning, painting, mowing, electrical, plumbing and other preparations.

The dates for the work weekends will be Aug. 2nd & 3rd, Aug. 9th & 10th, Aug. 16th & 17th and Aug. 23rd & 24th. The work weekend on Aug. 23rd & 24th will be the annual mowing party so plan on bringing your tractors, riders, mowers, weed eaters and other implements of destruction to help have Antique Airfield looking its best for the Fly-In.

Also, for those volunteering on the weekend of August 9th & 10th, on Sunday afternoon August 10th we plan to head south to Applegate Airport in Queen City, MO for APM Director Harve & Carolyn Applegate's annual Watermelon Fly-in.

So if you can, please plan on coming to Antique Airfield and bring a friend along as it is always good to have some "new blood" to share the fun as well as the work with. If you can't make the work weekends, we hope you'll give consideration to volunteering your time during the AAA/APM Fly-in.

To help plan the food and refreshments please RSVP at (641) 938-2773 or on which weekends you can come and help.

As usual we will hit it hard during the day but after supper we will spend some time flying and also playing with models, kites etc. (bring em' if you have em').

Looking forward to seeing all of you. Pass the word and bring a friend too!

Brent Taylor
Fly-In Chairman

Pre-register for the Husker/Hawkeye Air Tour and Get a T-Shirt

Posted in Chapter News | July 23, 2014

Pre-registration is now open for the Husker/Hawkeye Air Tour at the Nebraska Chapter Website. Folks who pre-register will receive a free T-shirt for the tour!

Drive alongs are also welcome on the Air Tour. The Air Tour schedule is:

Sunday August 24: Hangar picnic at Todd Harders Hangar, Cairo, NE

Monday August 25: Tour Classic Car museum and visit Cabelas followed by lunch in Kearney NE

Monday afternoon: depart Minden for Norfolk NE for evening meal at Barnstormers restaurant (they are planning a special bbq cookout for us) and over night at local motel

Tuesday August 26: Depart Norfolk for Blair NE for some glider rides and dual instruction weather permitting.

Tuesday afternoon depart Blair for Red Oak IA for tours by Nick Hildreth followed by a airport picnic and over night in local motel.

Wednesday August 27: Depart Red Oak for Blakesburg IA for the AAA/Apm 2014 flyin

Latest Fly-In Registrations

Posted in News | July 23, 2014

You can register for the fly-in online or you can print the paper registration form for paper-based registration.

Just a reminder, if you are planning to attend and want to have a hotel or rental car during the event, we recommend making reservations now!

1941 Interstate S1A Cadet NC37340
Jim Weibe
Valley Center, KS
1938 DeHavilland DH-82 "Tiger Moth"
Bob Thomas
Indianapolis, IN
1940 Porterfield CP-65
Charles Slinger
Randolph, WI
(G.R. Dennis Price photo)

Bellanca Donation Project Progress

Posted in News | July 23, 2014

Tom Bullion, Paul Bjornstad and donor John Morrison continue to make progress on returning the Bellanca 14-19-3, donated to the APM by John, to flying status. Here’s the latest from Tom;

Great day today… three successful gear swings; brakes bled and came up nicely; found JPI paperwork and I think we can get the fuel flow included. I bought some sealant for the fairings to go back on… yippee…..

If you'd like to help get the Bellanca home to Antique Airfield in time for the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-in we still have some expenses to pay for including a new battery, fuel, ELT battery, and prop overhaul. Donations can be sent to the APM at 22001 Bluegrass Rd. Ottumwa, Iowa 52501 or via PayPal.


Photo by EAA/Jim Koepnick

Pemberton Aircraft at Warbird Weekend in Grangeville, ID

Posted in Members | July 23, 2014

The Pemberton clan of Spokane, WA visited the Warbird Weekend event at Grangeville, ID that took place July 12th and 13th, and sent us these great air to air pics by Scott Germain.

John Desmond's Vega Project

Posted in Members | July 15, 2014

John Desmond wrote today with photos of his Vega project - letter below. The airplane is NC13705 and was originally Shell #7. It is our understanding that the airplane is to be restored in those markings/configuration including use of an early "snap cap" P7W Wasp engine.

Interstates at Whiteman Airport

Posted in Members | July 15, 2014

Dick O'Reilly sent us this video of his Interstate Cadet and a friend's Interstate L-6, both based at Whiteman Airport in north Los Angeles. Dick says:

In keeping with the Interstate theme for this year's fly-in, here's a new video on my YouTube channel. It is a flight a few days ago in the other Interstate at WHP, a beautiful L-6 restoration. Although I don't think Stan will be able to attend the AAA fly-in this year, he is flying the L-6 to AirVenture in a couple weeks. I'm guessing a number of AAA members will be there as well.

I don't know how many airports can boast of a restored Cadet and a restored L-6, but it's sure fun to be part of the show at Whiteman. Stan has been there for years and his plane was the first thing I heard about when I moved in a year ago May. Everytime I have my hangar open, someone new stops by to ask about my plane. I even got a visit while refueling the other day.

Dick O'Reilly

Kevin Brown's Interstate Cadet Video

Posted in Members | July 15, 2014

Dear Robert, Brent, and all the folks at AAA:

Thanks for the kind letter you sent with my membership card and greetings, I should have joined long ago. Better late than never!

I will be flying my Interstate from Frazier Lake CA (1C9) with fellow AAA member Jerry Impellezzeri in his 41 Taylorcraft BC-12D to the Invitational in August. I can't wait for the adventure, and meeting all the great folks at the event.

A little history on myself and Interstate N28329 #17. Got my private in 1977 flying Cherokee's and 172's. Got a little tired of the "point A to point B" flying and languished for something more. I moved to northern CA a few years later and visited Fremont Airport (now closed) and for the most part all the aircraft were Aeroncas, Taylorcrafts, Stinsons, Cubs and a few "spam cans". During the winter the airport and runway would occasionally flood a few inches and on this particular day I saw a L2 making a run at the temporary lake down the runway, dipping a wheel in and sending back a rooster tail of water back about 4 feet. I said to myself that looks like real flying! Signed up for tail wheel instruction on the spot, and have been a tail dragger fabric low & slow guy ever since!

I restored a 11BC Chief flew it a number of years; then as so often in life, events happened and I had to park my flying and sell my beloved bird. But fear not, 10 years into my hiatus from flying, a friend from my flying days called and asked if i would come visit him at his new hangar at Frazier Lake airport and see some of his projects. It was a bittersweet vist. Lonnie was finishing up a resto on a Travelair 2000 and what a beautiful bird she was.He was also doing a annual on a Interstate Cadet, and he said "come on jump in and we'll go around the patch a few times." Lonnie said "you taxi and fly it and I'll follow you". I was a little rusty to say the least. Never before had I felt so much a part of a plane as I did in that Interstate. What a pure joy to fly! I told Lonnie If ever I could afford to get back into GA I want an Interstate!

Now 8 years later the same friend called and asked if I would come and check out his new project. Once again he had done a beautiful restoration on a J-3 Cub. I asked him about the Interstate I had flown and he reported it had been sold. I then recalled meeting a fellow low & slow guy by the name of Bill Mette some 20 years previous at the Merced Fly In. Bill had told me that he owned an Interstate project, and that this particular Cadet was owned by a Navy lieutenant who was teaching students In the Civil Pilot Training program in Hawaii "on the side," and was In the air with a student when Pearl harbor was attacked. That stuck in my memory! With help from Lonnie I was able to find Bill at a local "QB" meeting and I worked out a deal to purchase the War veteran Cadet

Interstate N28329 #17 was "drafted" into Navy service soon after the attack on Peal Harbor and flew over 30 "Official Navy Business" missions including submarine searches, search and rescue, medical emergencies Army photo ops, even a observation flight with a Army General (Puunene Naval Air Station was jointly used with the Army). It was painted three times during service in "Naval wartime camouflage" with "Stars and Bars" appropriate for the time.

In 1945 the Cadet was shipped to the San Francisco bay area and sold to a local flying club. They flew it for about 4 months and on a training flight experienced an engine failure and was extensively damaged on landing. It never flew again until February 2012.

After I purchased the project, I spent one year almost to the day restoring the Cadet, a bit of "nose to the grindstone" so to speak. With help from Lonnie Autry, Doug Metcalf, and Tim Talen I have a wonderful flying Cadet with about 250 hours already since restoration.

Thanks again, see you in August! Kevin Brown.

Interstate Cadet flight from StinsonBlueWagon on Vimeo.