Vintage Aircraft Online
Issue 7   2010

The snow has melted away, which means that construction cone seeds have quickly germinated and started popping out of the ground here in Wisconsin! Both at EAA headquarters and on the roads in the Oshkosh area, construction crews are hard at work getting the area ready for

H.G. Frautschy
H.G. Frautschy

the summer tourist season and our little fly-in on Wittman Field. You may have heard that the major highway, U.S. 41, running north and south just west of the EAA grounds is undergoing a major reconstruction project over the next few years. But fear not if you're headed toward EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WDT) is very mindful of the impact its roadwork has on the fly-in, and the WDT promised to do its best to minimize the impact to traffic during our annual "aviationfest."

On the grounds, an effort is underway to coat many of the gravel/crushed rock roadways in the exhibit areas and campground with a process called "chip sealing." That process will allow us to keep a substantial amount of dust out of the air in those areas and still allow for rainwater runoff to be properly absorbed by the earth.

Recent changes in site improvement environmental regulations limit the amount of nonpermeable pavement that can be installed in any given area, and we're constantly bumping up against those limits on the AirVenture grounds. In fact, that's why the new exhibit area west of AeroShell Square has been acknowledged as one of the world's largest underground water runoff mitigation projects.

Clever engineering allowed the construction of the area while not requiring huge water retention ponds be built nearby, which would use up space that would otherwise be occupied by visiting members. If you'd like to read more about the ongoing site improvements on the AirVenture grounds, read the blog of EAA's facilities manager Steve Taylor here.

We ran into the site improvement issue when we began planning for a reconstruction of the Vintage Aircraft Association (VAA) Flightline Safety Operations building in the VAA parking and camping area. We had to carefully plan the new design with this in mind so that no additional turf would have to be made off-limits to aircraft. We'll have more on this project in future Vintage Aircraft Online newsletters, as well as news regarding further changes we're making to the VAA area, many of them the result of direct requests made by the membership.

For now, we'll give you a bit of a teaser; many of you arrive with your airplane or tent to camp and have no secure way to charge your cell phone or laptop computer. Starting with EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010, you'll be able to check your unit and its charger with a VAA volunteer who will give you a claim check ticket. He or she will plug it in at the VAA Charging Station and hold it until you return. The secure location will be manned throughout the day, so you won't have to worry about leaving it unattended at the shower house, or have to beg for a wall plug spot in the Red Barn. We'll announce the exact location of the VAA Charging Station in a few weeks.

Volunteers and staff are getting ready for AirVenture Oshkosh 2010 - how about you?

H.G. Frautschy Editor, Vintage Aircraft Online
Editor, Vintage Airplane magazine
Executive Director, VAA

VAA Lifetime Membership Now Available
It's been more than 30 years since the Antique/Classic Division of EAA (now the Vintage Aircraft Association) has offered a lifetime membership option.  Vintage Lifetime Membership
Over the past few years, a number of committed members of both VAA and EAA have asked us to consider reinstating the lifetime membership option. Now, with the EAA lifetime membership available to all who wish to show their dedication to recreational aviation, we can offer the same opportunity to members of the Vintage Aircraft Association. Read more
Type Club/FAA Meetings During EAA AirVenture
In an effort to add to the ways the type clubs can communicate in an efficient manner with the FAA's Small Airplane Directorate, the VAA will again facilitate a series of meetings between clubs who ask for a meeting with the FAA during AirVenture. To be clear, we don't control the agenda, nor does the FAA limit its contact with type clubs to only this time of year; on the contrary, when issues come up from time to time, the FAA is most interested in obtaining direct feedback from the clubs. Often, this feedback is done through the airworthiness concern sheet system when a maintenance-related issue is highlighted. Read more
Senate Approves FAA Reauthorization
Provisions to release abandoned type certificate data included
The U.S. Senate passed its $34.5 billion version of the three-year FAA reauthorization bill last week without user fees, maintaining the present system of (slightly higher) fuel excise taxes. The bill, passing on a unanimous (93-0) vote, would provide funding for development of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen) as well as $8.1 billion for the Airport Improvement Program with a general aviation fuel tax increase from 21.9 cents to 36 cents per gallon. Read more
EAA Features Webinars
In March, EAA launched a regular series of webinars as a new communications and learning service to members. (A webinar is a multimedia presentation transmitted live over the Internet and viewed on a computer.) The presenter can use slides, audio, and video as part of the presentation, while audience members can ask questions, chat, or be polled for their opinion. Read more EAA Webinars
Feature Story
Seattle World Cruiser Reproduction Project
Never underestimate the determination of a married couple who have chosen a different path in life. I first learned of the remarkable Bob and Diane Dempster of Seattle, Washington, when they chose to fly their  Douglas World Cruiser
Piper PA-18 Super Cub around the world in stages in 1990. One of their stops early on was at EAA Oshkosh, where the Cub, with its additional belly tank and storage capacity, made me stop and ask what they were up to. Bob had a glint in his eye when he told me they were on a long cross-country. His wry grin told me they weren't just heading to Poughkeepsie. They were following a personal dream, a husband and wife who took the term "team" to heart. Read more
Great Web Links
Great Web LinksDuring the past 20 years or so, many of you may have seen the tan and brown DC-3 of Folsom's Air Service mounted on huge EDO amphibious floats. If you ever wondered what possessed the float manufacturer to do such a massive project, there's a film posted on YouTube that may help fill in a few of those blanks. There was a government contract during the war when there was legitimate concern regarding the ability to move troops and supplies into areas that hadn't yet been fully secured or hadn't yet had an airport built nearby. The grandson of one of the engineers on the project recently posted a video that contains home color movies his grandfather made during testing of a C-47 mounted on a pair of EDO amphibious floats in the waters of Flushing Bay.
Northrop N-9M
One of the most unusual restorations done in the past decade was the rebuild of the Northrop N-9M flying wing. The airplane was one of four built as a flying test bed by Northrop to 
experiment with some of its flying wing aerodynamic theories before full-scale production of its flying wing bombers were to be built. There's plenty to read about the restoration of the airplane by the volunteers of the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino, California. You can read it here. To watch a video on YouTube of the airplane during postrestoration flights, click here.
Timeless Voices
EAA's efforts to compile an oral history of aviation's pioneers and those who have helped make aviation such a fascinating part of our nation's history has culminated in EAA's Timeless Voices project. Edna Gardner Whyte

Edna Gardner Whyte (1902 - 1992) took her first airplane ride in 1926 in an OX-5-powered Curtiss Jenny. She loved the experience so much that she started flying every chance she could, and in 1928 she earned her private pilot certification. A nurse by training, Edna joined the Navy Nurse Corps in 1929 and was stationed at Newport, Rhode Island, and then Washington, D.C. During the six-and-a-half years she served in the Nurse Corps, Edna gave flight instruction during her free time, and she started closed-course and cross-country air racing in 1933. After numerous attempts to hire on as an airline pilot, Edna left the Nurse Corps in 1935 and moved to New Orleans, where she opened a flight school called Air College, Inc. The school would go on to train over 5,000 pilots for the military during World War II. After the war, she opened another flight school called Aero Enterprise near Fort Worth, Texas. When her husband died in 1970, Edna moved to Roanoke, Texas, and built the Aero Valley Airport. She shared some of her experiences during EAA Oshkosh 1986. Watch the video.

Hints for Restorers
Brian Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation explains the details of installing and tensioning a control cable in this installment of EAA's Hints For Homebuilders. View it here. View the video here. Hints for Restorers
From the Archives
From the ArchivesWay back when, before there was actually an Antique/Classic Division of EAA, the relatively new editor of Sport Aviation floated the idea of a Classic judging group within the EAA judging guidelines, a way to recognize the airplanes from what Jack Cox called "the twilight zone aircraft, the planes built after January 1, 1946, and at least 20 years old." When Jack wrote his editorial piece and it was published in the October 1970 issue of Sport Aviation, EAA and its volunteers were a few months away from formulating the ideas that would evolve into the Antique/Classic Division, now the Vintage Aircraft Association. It's interesting to read what Jack's thoughts were about the subject, and the parallels with the concepts of the VAA as it exists today. Some things are just as they were envisioned years ago, and others have evolved in a different direction, often due to requests by members. You can read Jack's article here. View it here.

EAA members also have access to EAA's online community at Our active Forums area is used by members who want to ask a question or just find out what their fellow aviation enthusiasts are up to. For the Vintage Aircraft Association member, there's the Red Barn forum, just the place to delve into the world of vintage airplanes. Here are a few highlights of recent activity on the Red Barn forum.

It's not too often that a pioneer-era airplane is auctioned. Read about the Curtiss F flying boat that will be auctioned in April here.

A question recently came up about the Aeromatic prop, and Kent Tarver, the man responsible for the renaissance of this technological and aerodynamic marvel, was on the spot with an answer to the member's question. Read about it here.

Harold Johnson's aerobatic routine in a Ford Tri-Motor during the National Air Races air show has long been a source of wonder. Aircraft Owner Online recently posted a video of Johnson's routine. Wouldn't you love to see something like that today? You just might…but for now, watch Harold Johnson loop and snap roll a big Ford here.

Question of the Month

Q. What kind of landing gear is your preference?

  • Tailwheel only.
  • Nosewheel only.
  • Mostly tailwheel, but I occasionally fly an airplane with a nosewheel.
  • Mostly nosewheel, but I occasionally fly an airplane with a tailwheel.
  • I don't care. I like them both!

Respond Now!


We welcome your comments and suggestions to
All content, logos and pictures are the property of Vintage Aircraft and EAA
Copyright © 2009 - EAA's Vintage Aircraft Association, Inc.
3000 Poberezny Road, Oshkosh, WI 54902
800-236-4800 :: 920-426-4800

Disclaimer/Privacy policy