History Takes Flight

With a collection of more than 200 historic aircraft, the EAA Aviation Museum is a year-round destination, combining aviation's past with the promise of its exciting future.

1928 Church Midwing JC-1 - N9167

Location: Air Racing & Aerobatics

The Church Midwing was originally advertised as “the sportiest, safest, best-looking airplane in the light, single-seat class,” and sold as a homebuilt kit.

Like the first Church aircraft, built by James Church in 1928, the Church Midwing has a Heath fuselage, which is wire-braced and bolted. The Midwing lacks a traditional windscreen, providing the pilot protection from windblast with a cowling, which extends from the firewall to the instrument panel. The instrument panel itself consists only of a tachometer, and oil pressure and temperature gauges.

The late Gene Chase acquired the fuselage, stabilizer and elevator, Church wings with ailerons, windshield cowling, and a set of plans in the 1960s. Working from those plans, which are copies of the original set drawn by James Church, Chase began a five-year restoration process. The final product was finished exactly like the original, down to its striking yellow and black paint scheme.

Chase’s restored Midwing made its first appearance at EAA during the 1970 Oshkosh fly-in convention. It made its first flight at the Ottumwa Fly-In in September of that year, witnessed by the original designer. On May 29, 1972, Church visited Chase in Tulsa and flew the airplane; he notes in the logbook that this was, “my first flight in one of my Midwings since 1941 (31 years ago).”

Length: 16 feet, 9 inches

Wingspan: 26 feet, 8 inches

Empty Weight: 367 pounds

Gross Weight: 584 pounds

Cruise Speed: 70 mph (estimated)

Seats: 1

Powerplant: Heath-Henderson

Horsepower: 27 hp