Vintage Aircraft Online
July 15, 2009    Volume 1, Number 1   

Each of you who has received this inaugural issue of Vintage Aircraft Online is a vital part of the vibrant vintage aircraft community within EAA. Your branch of the EAA family has been a significant part of the annual convention and fly-in since its arrival in Oshkosh in 1971, and the division's activities have grown to become a yearlong effort, 

H.G. Frautschy

with full-time staff representing the interests of VAA members throughout the year. As we've have evolved from the Antique/Classic Division to the Vintage Aircraft Association, we've gone from a four-page black and white newsletter to a full-color, 44-page magazine that highlights the accomplishments of our fellow members and shares the fascinating history of the airplanes we've come to enjoy.  Read more
Flying Windmill Makes Appearance at Oshkosh!

If you've been on the fence about coming to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh this year, I can solve that dilemma right now. It's been more than two decades since a Pitcairn Autogiro has flown in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, during the annual EAA fly-in 
convention, but with any weather luck at all, we may very well get to see the last flying PA-18 Autogiro tool around the pattern here in Oshkosh. How about that? Is that enough to make you throw your tent and sleeping bag in the airplane or car and point the nose toward Oshkosh?  Read more
VAA Area One of the Highlights of EAA AirVenture
If you’re headed to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009, be sure to stop by the VAA Red Barn and say “Hi.” We’ll have popcorn and lemonade available for a small donation, you can pick up your  EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009
participant mug and plaque if you flew your vintage airplane into the convention, and you can shop for the coolest vintage airplane clothing and gifts you’ll find anywhere. Oh, and did we mention the newly completed Vintage Hangar, a project funded entirely with donations made by key VAA volunteers and those who have chosen to support the organization over the years through the VAA Friends of the Red Barn annual campaign. It will be the home of the type clubs and the vintage workshop during the convention, as well as other VAA activities, including the awards program on Saturday night, at 6 p.m.

Besides the amazing Autogiro, we have been told that the DH.88 Comet Racer replica will be on display in our area, as will the American Barnstormers Tour, and many other great aircraft, plus more than 20 returning past Grand Champion airplanes. There’s plenty to see and do, so be sure to stop on by!

FAA Issues New Advisory Circular for Vintage Aircraft
This is big news, folks. The FAA has issued an advisory circular specifically intended to make it easier to use parts on your vintage airplane that just plain make sense to install!
In a move intended to help keep vintage aircraft safely maintained, restored, and flying, the FAA has issued new Advisory Circular AC 23-27, Parts and Materials Substitution for Vintage Aircraft, dated May 18, 2009. The AC, created by the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate in Kansas City, Missouri, was a joint effort by the FAA in consultation with industry representatives including EAA and EAA's Vintage Aircraft Association.  Read more
Hamp SafeStart Starter System now STC'd

In the April issue of EAA Sport Aviation we detailed the quest of Harold Hamp, EAA 300857, to produce an alternative to the requirement for hand-propping many of the lightplanes built prior to the 1950s. The self-contained 
system, built around the high-torque capabilities of a battery-powered cordless drill motor, allows the engine to be started from within the cockpit, and it does not require the installation of an external electrical system.  Read more
Airworthiness Directives and Special Airworthiness Information Bulletins
Since the FAA ended the mailing of special airworthiness information bulletins (SAIB) a few years ago, the only way to get them, short of making an appointment at your local flight standards district office so you can thumb through your local inspector's notebook, is to receive them via e-mail. SAIBs are pretty handy; they highlight maintenance issues that do not warrant an airworthiness directive (AD), but are things that should be watched for when working on particular aircraft. An issue brought up by an SAIB may later wind up as an AD created by the FAA, but more often than not simply pointing out the potential problem seems to head off the problem. If you'd like to receive both ADs and SAIBs via e-mail, you have to subscribe to them using the FAA's website at http://RGL.FAA.govRead more
Chapter Newsletters
Each month we're going to reproduce one or more of the VAA chapter newsletters that come across our desk. Not every VAA chapter produces a newsletter (either electronic or printed and mailed), but we're always interested in what's going on in each of the 18 VAA chapters across the United States. One of the most active chapters is VAA Chapter 10, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Charlie Harris, VAA's treasurer, serves that chapter as its editor, and he has a ball summarizing the chapter meetings and giving us the lowdown on other local goings-on and personalities. Here's its May newsletter:
May 2009
The chapter's April 23 meeting was a strange affair. We had a big turnout standing in the lobby waiting for the unlocking of our duly assigned library meeting room. More
Chapter newsletter
Great Web Links
We run across great links regularly as we surf the web. Here are a few websites we’ve enjoyed in the past month or so:
Great Web Links
The website of the Vintage Wings of Canada Foundation in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada, overseen by the talented Dave O’Malley, is filled with interesting stories and great photography While much of the content is warbird-related, there’s enough Commonwealth lightplane material to whet your appetite for a visit to our northern neighbors, either in person or via the web.

One thing you have to say about this community video website is that it is filled with just about everything you could imagine, and thankfully, that includes some great aviation footage. Here’s one video titled Aircraft Construction in 1910 in which the French firm of Voisin is pictured, along with stills photos of many of its wood and fabric biplanes. Here’s the link.

Obscure Public Relations and Educational Films
One of my favorite websites for stuff that you never thought would see the light of a movie projector again is The site is dedicated to preserving archives of all types, but the one that really gets me fired up is the aviation films section. Not Hollywood films, but those great 16 mm flicks we watched in grade school, like this one from Encyclopedia Britannica on how helicopters work.

Why not share your web find with your fellow Vintage Aircrafters? Just drop us an e-mail at with the link, and we’ll get it in the next Vintage Aircraft Online!

Timeless Voices
EAA's efforts to compile an oral history of aviation's pioneers and those who have helped make it such a fascinating piece of our nation's history have culminated in their Timeless Voices project, with hundreds of videos now archived at EAA headquarters. John Miller
We continue to create online versions of those videos so that members and those who have an interest in aviation can watch and learn from those who have come before us. One of those videos is an interview with the late Johnny Miller, whose career in aviation spanned nearly a century. John was present as Charles Lindbergh took off from Roosevelt Field on his epic trans-Atlantic solo crossing, and later, he was an active autogyro and helicopter pilot. For John's entertaining and illuminating reminisces, watch his Timeless Voices video here.
Hints for Restorers
Okay, I'll confess. When EAA created its online video series called Hints for Homebuilders, I didn't always pay attention to the videos. Hints for Restorers
Turns out I was really missing out on some great stuff. Heck, there's even a whole section dedicated just to tube and fabric construction techniques! Once I started viewing them, I couldn't stop! So if you've not taken a moment to watch a few of these videos, I encourage you click on the link below and watch a few. Most run around 3-5 minutes, and none are over 8 minutes.

Our long-term goal is to create videos in that same vein for restorers, but in the meantime, there's so much good stuff on the EAA Hints for Homebuilders video player page that we're going to point you toward that great part of EAA's website and highlight some of the videos that would be of particular interest to those of us who live in the type certificated world. So without further ado, let me introduce to you Joe Norris, Waco owner, VAA and EAA member, and EAA's homebuilders' community manager, as he demonstrates the correct way to safety a turnbuckle. Watch it here.

From the Archives
There's such a wealth of information contained in the pages of VAA's Vintage Airplane magazine as well as EAA's flagship publication Sport Aviation that we're just bursting at the archive seams! Since one of our planned highlighted airplanes during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 will be the replica of the DH 88 Comet racer built for Tom Wathen by the late Bill Turner and others who worked with Turner, we thought it only appropriate we bring you the article on the airplane published in the March 1994 issue of Sport Aviation. Bill himself penned the article telling us all about the history of the original Comets and how the replica came to be. Here's how he starts it off:

There's a Comet in the Sky

It was the mid 1930s, a time of giants, of original thinkers struggling to press forward with meager funds for aviation development in a depression ridden era…of trying to overcome politicians determined to follow the path of whatever was the best way to stay in office. From the Archives
Well nothing had changed there even today, but spending money on aviation in the '30s was not popular. Read more
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