Website of the Antique Airplane Association and the Airpower Museum Last Update: Jul 25 2014

Hans and Sam Gautschi's Radial Powered Hatz Ready for Flight

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

By the time you read this Hans and Sam Gautschi's Hatz might be flying, in Switzerland. They are ready for flight and have passed initial ground and taxi checks. The next step is official permits. Hans has sent us photos of his work over the years and it is gorgeous. The Hatz with a Rotec radial looks and sounds particularly good.

Sam is Hans' son, and is the test pilot. Sam is the pictured in the brown Waco shirt.

Hill Hatz Flies Again

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

Long time Blakesburg attendees will surely remember the Hill Hatz (8032Y), and Ray and Dorothy Hill of Baxter IA. During the '70s Ray served on the APM board and Dorothy ran the museum gift shop while they were building "Eve", one of the first Hatz' to fly from the plans (S/N6) in 1981.

Since coming West with me to Denver in 1995, Eve has criss-crossed the country, flown over 400 kids, and now knows the way to Blakesburg by heart. We were fortunate that Ron Sieck of Grinnell IA, builder of the award winning Hatz Classic "Rainman", offered to restore her as a tribute to his friends Ray and Dorothy.

Ask Ron about the restoration project, as he says that working on Eve was kind of like aviation archeology. Ron could see the evolution of homebuilding from when Ray was originally building her during the 70's to when Ray was Ron’s Tech Counselor "supervising” him as he built his Oshkosh winning Hatz during the 2000s.

Oct 2013, Eve returned to the skies of Grinnell. Ron's workmanship is gorgeous and she flies as nicely as she looks - "hands off" on the first flight!

Now back home in Denver, Eve and I are both looking forward to returning to Blakesburg this fall.

Jeff Cain

Kelly Mahon's Chipmunk

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

"Do it again Dad!"

National Biplane Fly-In June 5-8

Posted in News | May 23, 2014

The National Biplane Fly-in will be June 5-8 at Freeman Field, in Junction City, KS. This fly-in is a good one if you're looking for a weekend, there's a great show, great field with grass runways, and some of the best hospitality for pilots that you'll find at fly-in events. Click for printable flyer.

Restoration While Keeping Em Flying: Dave Bole's Howard and Jim Savage's Spartan Executive

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

Ground-up restorations are great, but for many folks taking their antiques and classics offline for years is not practical or desirable. Dave Bole and Jim Savage are two of the many folks who choose a project or two each year and work on it over the winter, the goal being to keep downtime limited while making substantial improvements to their aircraft.

This winter Dave Bole, in Enumclaw, WA (near Seattle) took on a landing gear refurbishment for his Howard. Worn-out bushings and lugs were replaced, new landing gear springs installed, hoses refreshed, and cracks repaired. All new paint and the gear is tight. Dave says it makes a noticeable improvement on runway behavior.

Additionally Dave dropped the belly skins. A thorough fuel tank inspection and hose replacement improved safety, and Dave learned the english wheel for smoothing years of wrinkles and dents. The refurbished and repainted skins look beautiful.

Jim Savage accomplished two projects this winter on his Spartan Executive, based in Western Pennsylvania: an all-new interior and headliner, and recover and refinish of all of the fabric covered control surfaces.

Wright R760-E2 Lives Again

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

Addison Pemberton's Waco EQC-6, powered by a R760-E2, suffered an engineering casualty on the way to Oshkosh, and required replacement of the tower gear shaft. Addison sent us these photos during the reassembly. The engine is running great at the Waco is back at home at Felts Field, Spokane, WA.

After 9 months of having our Custom Cabin Waco stuck in Montana, the engine is repaired and ready for reinstall and the 300 mile ferry trip back home. Mike Conner was invaluable in provideing us with the original drive tower gear drawing so that we could have a new gear made. The E2 is a strange duck with no spares available on the planet for some parts. After 20 weeks at a very skilled gear maker, the new gear is per the original specification and surface treatment. Finding a gear house who can still make complex bevel gears is not easy. Now the engine is right for a Wright.

Waco UPF-7 Project and Clip Wing Taylorcraft by Trevor Niemyjski

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

Trevor Niemyjski's been very busy working on a Waco UPF-7 owned by Lyle Ferris. Trevor says: "Just finished the wood and new cables. Setting it aside to get my clip wing Taylorcraft ready for spring its getting new cover and a few more mods. Can't wait to fly it!"

Carl Morgan's Story - Thanks for Giving Me the Disease!

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

If you are like me you have had this flying "Bug" since you were introduced to aviation by someone that cared enough to do so. My "Bug" came from my Dad who was a pilot in the Air Force. He infected all of his kids with the "Bug" with flights in a Helio Courier when we were still in grade school. Most of you know what I mean when I mention THE "Bug". It IS a lifelong affliction. Some of you tried to outgrow it but you can't. Remember as a kid, you hear a noise in the sky and all the other kids ask what you are looking at as you not only tell them what kind of plane just flew over but you go on to tell them who built it, what engine is in it and how fast it will go. It's just one of those things that you wouldn't understand unless you have been infected with the "Bug".

The "Bug" should be listed by the American Medical Association as the incurable disease that it really is. You can treat the symptoms of the disease all your life and just about the time you think you have the disease under control it will knock you down on the ground and stomp on you like the neighborhood bully!! Sometimes the disease will go into remission and won't reveal its ugly head for years and it will lull you into a false sense of security because you think you've been cured. Then when you least expect it, BAM, just like the TV chef throwing red hot pepper, the "Bug" will sneak up on you and attack you from behind. Fortunately there ARE some people that the "Bug" doesn't affect. They are the same people who never catch a cold because they have this overly active immune system that won't let the "Bug" get under their skin.

Then there are a few select lucky people in this world that actually EARN money by flying for a living and I am so envious yet I do feel sorry for them. They think they have the "Bug" cured but they don't. It's still there just waiting for right moment to pounce on them. The only advantage the rest of us neophyte aviation wannbe's have over the lucky people is that deep down we KNOW we're not cured no matter how much we yearn to be disease free.

I HAD the "Bug" under control for years and just knew I had it cured. I thought the economics of farming for a living for 25 years - until I was broke - had permanently purged my system of the "Bug". This thing IS sneaky and unpredictable. After only three years of full time heavy highway construction work the "Bug" bit me on the rear. The sore it left would NOT heal no matter how much hydrocortisone I put on it.

After a full year of torment and torture from my sore butt I finally succumbed to the "Bug" and bought a 1946 Aeronca Champ. Man is this fun. I feel better and my blood pressure is lower than it has been in five years. Without even thinking about it I gave my 10 year old daughter a ride one evening to look at deer in the bottoms. WTH was I thinking!!! Too late and as much as I hate to admit it I have given her the "Bug". If the social workers find about this, they will most likely have me arrested for endangering the economic welfare of a child. Unfortunately she does appear to have a pretty serious case. I can only hope and pray they find a cure for the "Bug" before she reaches her child bearing years.

OK I admit it. I am a weak individual and I gave in to the "Bug" but just like an alcoholic back on the bottle this feels so good. I can go bore meaningless holes in the sky, scout for deer on a nice calm evening, land in a pasture behind the neighbor's house and give his kids a ride or take pictures from the heaven I think I'm in. Finally I have a life with some fun and exhilaration in it. For the first time in many years life is good and content. Work all week away from home but KNOW when I get home the Orange Pumpkin is lovingly and patiently waiting for me. (The Orange Pumpkin is the nickname for my old Champ that came from some of my aviation friends who also happen to be infected to various degrees with the "Bug" so you know their judgment is impaired!!) Yes Sir, life is good!!

Fast forward three years and DAMN just when I thought I had life by the tail the "Bug" struck again and this time with a vengeance. I couldn't believe it. For the first time in my life the sailing was smooth and there were NO sores on my rear from the "Bug". However just like the current flu epidemic I was hit hard and the local emergency room was full so they just sent me home to fend for myself. Most medical experts don’t even recognize the "Bug" as a disease but what do they know anyway. I fought hard but it is hard to have your heart in a fight that you know there is no way in heck you're going to win. Nothing has changed. The ONLY temporary cure for the "Bug" is to buy another airplane. This time the cure cost a lot more. (I wonder if the cure is cheaper in Mexico.) The inevitable is that part of your life that you have no control over and you just as well get it over before it eats you alive. At least that's what I told my loving wife.

While concentrating on my wonderful little life I fell head over heels in love again but this time it was with a sleek, sexy, beautiful red and white Pitts. The "bug" got me again!!! Remember I said it WAS an incurable disease. My wife does not think it is a disease. She simply thinks I am having a mid-life crisis AND she tells me that most men just get a girlfriend. (She says that ONLY because she doesn't think I can handle a new girlfriend!) But anyway as the advertised NEW engine from my new red and white love heads to the shop for an overhaul my wife "lovingly" informs me that a girlfriend would probably have been cheaper. I really have a nice wife but she very simply DOES NOT understand because the "Bug" has never bit her or if it did she has more developed immune system than I do. If you personally don't have an incurable disease you can't really understand what it's like to have one. Nevertheless I will continue to humor her at least until the real NEW engine gets back and I can go flying.

I am going to start a one man campaign in which I hope to raise lots of money to try and find a cure for this miserable disease. You can send money directly to me and I'll start on the cure for the "Bug" one person at a time beginning with me as I think I am infected a LOT worse than anyone else. Somewhere in the aviation industry there HAS been an intentional cover-up on the seriousness of the "Bug". The FAA should at least issue a pilot A.D. on this disease but I think they are in on the cover up because they would lose their jobs if everyone was cured. In the meantime I think I will write the EAA and the AOPA to see if they will jump on the bandwagon about this serious issue but I fear they are in on the cover up.

As I sit here under this old Waco at the Antique Airplane Association Fly-In, I am getting paranoid as I think that right here in the middle of Iowa the AAA must be involved in the cover up also. The "Bug" is being spread here with reckless disregard to the consequences of the disease. They’re WANTING people to fly these old airplanes and give "kids" of all ages rides. These old planes do entice you to embrace the past and as I remember my past I want to say - Thanks Dad for giving me the "Bug".

Aviation Storytellers Episode Featuring AAA Member Greg Herrick

Posted in Members | May 23, 2014

If you've been a regular attendee at the AAA/APM Invitational Fly-ins over the last fifteen years or so, you’ve no doubt seen many of AAA Lifetime member Greg Herrick's collection of rare antique airplanes.

Well North Metro TV has posted an episode of Aviation Storytellers; "The Collector" featuring Greg's "Golden Wings Museum" at Anoka County Airport in Blaine, MN. We hope you enjoy this look at many of Greg's airplanes you might be familiar with and many you've not seen before.

Thanks Greg for the plug!

Oklahoma Chapter Saturday Chapter Meeting at Pauls Valley

Posted in Chapter News | May 23, 2014

Sparky Barnes sent a couple of photos of the Oklahoma Chapter meeting at Pauls Valley, OK from April 5th. Looks like great weather for a flying get-together.