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First Tony Bingelis Homebuilt Arrives in Oshkosh

  • Bingelis Plane
    Buddy Johnson with Tony Bingelis’ first homebuilt, a Piel Emeraude, which he donated to EAA.
  • Bingelis Plane
    The Piel trailered and bound for Oshkosh.

October 9, 2014 - A Piel Emeraude, the first aircraft built by legendary homebuilder and mentor Tony Bingelis, arrived in Oshkosh this week after it was donated to the EAA AirVenture Museum. Construction of this aircraft, N6734A, S/N 1018, was chronicled in a pair of articles Bingelis wrote in 1969 for EAA Sport Aviation that appeared in the August and September issues.

It was completed on September 4, 1967, and Tony owned it until February 1976, when it was sold to Stephen D. McElroy. Subsequent owners were Darrell G. Paris in June 1984; William H. Jordan, Jr., May 1990; Ken R. Ernst, January 1991; Melyon Solly, January 1993; Ronald W. York, February 1994; Mark Thompson, November 1996; Robert Burns Greer, November 1998; then finally E.R. “Buddy” Johnson, of Mountain Home, Arkansas, in March 2005, who donated the plane to EAA.

Ron Twellman, EAA curator of collections, drove to Mountain Home this past week to pick up the airplane and trailer it back to Oshkosh. According to Twellman, there was only one glitch in the trip back.

“I decided to add a second rope to the tail wheel to help hold the rudder steady, but it caused the tail wheel to come off its perch on the trailer’s winch,” he said. “I removed it and got the tail properly secured.”

Twellman also had to make a trip to a local lumberyard to get the lumber needed to build a support for the left main gear behind the fender on the right side of the trailer, as the gear span exceeded the trailer width. Also Twellman thanks the staff at Ozark Airworks, where N6734A was hangared, with helping disassemble the airplane. Several other people at the airport also helped load the plane on the trailer.

Following some clean up and reassembly, the plane will be put on display in the Homebuilts area of the EAA Museum and be used to tell the story of Tony Bingelis and his contributions to EAA and aircraft homebuilding.

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