Jessica Beauvais – Fly Baby Build

Jessica Beauvais – Fly Baby Build

It’s so great to see a father-daughter team working together on an aircraft rebuild project! Jessica’s working hard and there are plenty of other ladies that don’t mind getting their hands dirty too. Read on to see what Jessica Beauvais from Skyhaven Airport (DAW) in Rochester, NH is up to. My father and I have been building a Bowers Fly Baby. A friend of ours had an old crashed Fly Baby that we have been coupling with plans to build ours. We are working out of our garage in our off hours, and have been working on it for about a year now. You can see that it’s coming right along. A couple of pictures are some of the build up until now, and the pictures outside are from last weekend – we were running the fly wires. And last, a picture of my dog sleeping under the wing. He doesn’t seem to realize that it won’t give him shade without coverings 🙂 Jessica New Hampshire...

Project Update from Linda Melhoff: J3 Cub

Project Update from Linda Melhoff: J3 Cub

Thank you Linda Melhoff, for your J3 Cub project update! Looks like another beauty. There’s no better way to spend the winter than some days in a cozy hangar working on your project.  We enjoy some nice tunes, a hangar lunch and airport friends who stop to check on us or lend a hand when needed.   We’ve made a lot of progress and things are getting exciting so I thought I’d share some pics. – – – – – – – Linda Buroker-Melhoff 7S9, Lenhardt’s Air Haven, Hubbard, Oregon...

Karen Ellison    (North Carolina)

Karen Ellison (North Carolina)

Karen Ellison is based at Stag Air Park (7NC1) Burgaw, North Carolina. “Just wanted to give you a new photo of my Stinson. We finished the recover project this spring and she is back in the air again!” A few shots of the process…… “Wings done; fuselage ready to recover … this is what a naked plane looks like!” “The plane now has paint! Whoo hoo…” “I’m sooooo lucky!! I got wings for my birthday! I married the best guy ever!! I’ll be flying again soon!” *  ———————————– The following was posted Feb 7, 2011, before the recover. Taildraggers are the real deal!  I learned how to fly in a Piper Cherokee 6, then had to start all over to get my TW…  I couldn’t even taxi the first time I got in a taildragger.  Originally learned to fly in Idaho, so did a bunch of back country flying where the only way to go is TW.  Now here in North Carolina it isn’t as important, but still the best way to go! This year we are re-covering my 1946 Stinson 108…  I can’t wait to see my ole girl restored to her original splendor!  Stay tuned for more!...

Debra Plymate     (Oregon)

Debra Plymate (Oregon)

Debra Plymate is based at 7S5, Independence State Airport, Independence, Oregon. Nothing like being in a Funk! You wouldn’t know by its looks, but the Funk is a very aerodynamic ship. Twin brothers Joe and Howard Funk designed it in the 1930s. They designed the fuselage along the lines of the Fairchild, used a NACA 4412 airfoil, and the same type of oleo strut landing gear as the Waco. What they came up with was a very stable, highly efficient, stall and spin resistant airplane that has been described as the safest and easiest to fly of any light aircraft ever built. The only disappointment was the unreliability of engines available in 1934. They ended up designing a tunneled aircraft cooling system for a liquid cooled engine. Shortly after a highly modified Model B Ford engine was installed in 1936, Amelia Earhart visited the Akron Aircraft Company and requested a demonstration flight. After the flight, Amelia asked if she could fly the Funk from the left seat. Before test pilot Ralph Goodman had a chance to brief her on how to enter the aircraft, Joe Funk himself stepped up and offered to check her out. Amelia surprised them by gracefully slipping between the wing struts and into the one door on the right side without a word from the instructor. The Funk’s manufactured 365 aircraft between 1934 and 1948, and Independence Airport has become the home of Oregon’s largest collection of Funks. Looking down on the ferry crossing the Willamette River The first one arrived in 2005. It was serial number 206, actually number 106 in production. (The plant skipped 100 serial numbers to appear more prosperous.) Come to find out, N24180’s first home was Portland’s Swan Island Airport in 1940, and it was in the hangar at Hillsboro in 1962 when my future husband Wayne Nutsch worked at Wicks Air Service. It later went to Wasilla, AK, and was at Reno Stead when we found it. A nursery in the Willamette Valley Our next Funk was s/n 350, built in 1946. The restoration of N77720 won trophies at the Funk Fly-In, Oshkosh, Watsonville, and Merced in 1982-83, but it was languishing in an open shed in the Sacramento Valley since its owner passed away in 2006. We brushed off the spider webs and flew it home. His and hers Funks . . . what more could we want? But along came another orphan. Poor little s/n 29 hadn’t flown in years. It was sitting outside near the shore of Lake Michigan. We had to get it inside. Wayne towed his trailer all the way across the country, so here it is. The name “Ladies Love Taildraggers” touches a special place in my heart. Debra Plymate...

Recently rebuilt 1946 Champ G-TECC is flying again in the UK

It was a big day in the UK recently when one of our own lady taildragger pilots got to fly her newly rebuilt Champ again! An engine failure forced Nic Orchard to put her Champ down in a cow patch, dead stick, back in July 2008 and the insurance company totaled the aircraft. But that was not to be the end of G-TECC. Nic bought it back from the insurance company and the rest is history. Please take a look at the voyage of Nic’s “Champ Chump”. I promised to let you know, so……………………. ……after 1,192 days, I finally got to fly ‘CC’ again (Champ Chump!). Of course, the weather since that one single flight has developed into a seriously non-champable pattern, so please forgive me if I relish this bit. The full story is an awful lot longer than anyone would want to see, read or hear, but some of the restoration pics are on Nic\’s Pictures  . I owe the current frabjous state to a very experienced gentleman called Brian, who peeps from under a hat here and there. The story is as you surmised, although the cause for the engine failure was quite interesting, especially as the engine had just 120 hours since overhaul and about 5 since a refurbished carb was fitted. The full story is in the AAIB report, attached, except what was found later during the repairs.  The gear collapsed because, it would seem likely, there was a long time pre-existing crack in the right leg, missed by every one on inspections, that maybe gave up in the field landing.  It was a text book glide approach too – really felt like it was coming out right, so I was most surprised when things went wonky. The intake hoses connecting to the spider had migrated, thus the whole engine was running so lean it couldn’t go on.  No warnings at all though, no rough running, funny noises, nothing concerning on the instrument panel.  Anyway the ground loop and subsequent damage (fuselage frame took the shock load so there was welding to be done) made it an insurance write-off.  They paid out, I bought the Jodel and with the change () bought back the Champ from the insurance company (engine not shock loaded and newly overhauled…) and made the decision she would fly again.  Not a very wise decision financially of course, but I like to think of it as ensuring the Aeronca heritage is maintained (even though thousands exist and she is hardly rare). The 90 odd pics are the edited highlights of about 300 – and of course many of the more interesting stages were missed, due to forgetting camera etc.  Just as well, perhaps! The worst thing was the looong wait for the right humidity for spraying dope: about one day a week from spring to summer, both this year and last. The workshop is not exactly state of the art but the aeroplanes that have emerged from it over the years…beautiful.  I wish I could say I did more towards mine than I did, but my contributions were small. * Great to see so much going on elsewhere with the ladies: you surely started something, didn’t you?! ‘Wish I was flying, aren’t we? nic (Nic Orchard)...

Linda Buroker-Melhoff     (Oregon)

Linda Buroker-Melhoff (Oregon)

Linda Buroker-Melhoff is based at 7S9, Lenhardt’s Air Haven, Hubbard, Oregon. I was taught to fly in 1975 in a J-3 Cub with my mother as CFI. I was a young mother and there were many spaces between flights. I’m still a low-time pilot and I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to fly again and re-bond with a Cub, thanks to the generosity of my husband’s employer and friend who has made his Cub available to us. My parents were both early day aviators and were involved with barnstorming in the 30’s and the CPT and War Training service for WWII. I helped my husband restore a 1929 WACO Taperwing but it has been over 10 years since I’ve flown as PIC. It feels like a wonderful new chapter has begun in my life. Now its not all about family and material responsibilities but a time to do something I love. Here are a few more pics from our 1929 WACO ATO Taperwing I helped restore with my husband, Rich. * * There are about a dozen awesome women pilots nearby who are an inspiration and their friendship has made this all the more fun. I have been glued to this amazing website, love it so much and am honored to be a part of it. Regards, Linda Buroker-Melhoff...

Anna Schwisow     (Idaho)

Anna Schwisow (Idaho)

Anna Schwisow is based at KPUW, Pullman/Moscow Regional Airport, Moscow, Idaho. Hi, my name is Anna. I started flying with a friend in a Taylorcraft when I was 13.  Since, I’ve been flying almost exclusively in taildraggers – I have hardly any tricycle time!  I took some time off from flying for college, but now I’m trying to get back into it. A couple of years ago, my dad and I bought a 1952 Cessna 170B with the Lycoming 180 conversion and constant speed prop.  The plane lives part of the year with me at the Pullman, WA airport (near Moscow, ID), and part of the year with my dad at Sunrise Skypark near Marsing, ID. We’ve been working on fixing it up, and even made it a new instrument panel last summer. The two guys cutting a piece of aluminum are working on cutting my instrument panel – they’re a couple of my friends at UIdaho, Josh and Cam. * Since the plane is so capable and Idaho has some sweet backcountry, I’m hoping to start learning backcountry flying this summer. I’m currently at the University of Idaho working on my Master’s degree in Adult Organizational Learning and Leadership.  Once I graduate in August, I hope to do research in aviation education, and I’m especially interested in AOPA’s research on attrition rates among student pilots. I’m super-excited about finding this awesome group of beautiful and talented women!  Hopefully I’ll make it to the Idaho fly-in at Smiley Creek to meet some of you.  🙂 * Blue Skies! Anna...

Vanessa Jump Nelson     (Oregon)

Vanessa Jump Nelson (Oregon)

Vanessa Jump Nelson flies a J-3 Cub and is based at Stark’s Twin Oaks (7S3) in Hillsboro, Oregon. I had my first flight at 6 weeks old with my dad, who was licensed in 1947, and I grew up taking it for granted that we flew to Grandma’s in Central Washington on weekends, and up to the Puget Sound to get oysters in the seaplane.  I got my Private in 1979 and then didn’t fly for decades.  My kids are grown now, and when my dad died in 2004, I took a few A & P classes to better understand the process, and hired Evergreen Aviation & Restoration in Vancouver to help me restore my Dad’s J-3 that he and I had flown around Oregon, as it was filled with my memories of landing in farmer’s fields and on little sandbars. They’d sold the wood wings & engine.  We had some metal spars and a few ribs, so the new wings were built up from there.  I bought an 0-200 Continental and did the STC for that, which required a new engine mount, special prop, and an additional 18 gallon wing tank.  While we were at it, we added float fittings….just in case we ever wanted to put her on floats. “Tumbleweed” was based at Evergreen Field in Vancouver from when Dad bought it in 1969 till he took it apart and shelved it there in the hangar in the early 90’s.  It was a five year process, and I just got it flying in May and am almost ready to “second solo”. At the 2010 Northwest Antique Airplane Club Fly-In it received awards for “Best Piper Long Wing” and “The Rod Stillinger Award for Best J-3 Cub”. Thanks to instructor Eldon Fitzgerald for helping me get her over there. It’s hangared at Stark’s Twin Oaks, in Hillsboro Oregon.  At Twin Oaks I’ve taken a portion of my instruction from Emily Stark, a female taildragger specialist, who also grew up with a J-3 and happens to be the daughter of one of my late father’s flying buddies! * Cool to see Julie Richardson (with Friskie the biplane) on here!  She lives across the street from where my parents lived at Evergreen, and gave me some advice in the beginning.  She saw T.W. in storage and she came to Pearson and talked to me there last weekend....

Julie Richardson    (Washington)

Julie Richardson (Washington)

Julie Richardson is based at Vancover, Washington (1W1) and flies a Stearman. Hmm.  Stearman. Commercial, instrument, used to be a CFII (let it lapse in 2001). None of that counts, though, since I’m just pleasure flying as a fair weather pilot these days. Airframe mechanic, retired air traffic controller. Live on a grass runway in Vancouver, Washington (about 8 minutes from Portland Oregon PDX). Restoring a Stearman and flying one that I borrow.  (I do lots of fabric work for its owner). I do aircraft fabric work out of my home hangar....

Porterfield NC32412 is better than ever!

By Judy Birchler, host of www.LadiesLoveTaildraggers.com Of all the things I’ve posted on the website, this one makes me the happiest!  I have a personal connection to this very special bird and I’m delighted old friend and current part owner in this great project, Hank Meador, has sent me photos and details to share. So what’s the story?  This beautifully restored Porterfield is the first airplane I ever owned – well, 1/3 of it anyway! But hey, when you’re flying it, it’s all yours!  I flew the daylights out of it shortly after getting my pilot’s license and spent many hours flying along the Ohio River chasing ducks, landing on grass strips and getting my first taste of the very best in flying – tandem taildragging. Judy in 1976, proud 1/3 owner of a 1940 65 hp Porterfield The red  ’40 Porterfield had a 65 hp Lycoming back then that leaked a little oil, didn’t always want to start on the first few swings of the prop and had some minor issues you’d expect in an old taildragger that hadn’t been flown a heck of a lot in recent years.  It also wasn’t too speedy but I wasn’t particularly interested in speed anyway. I remember flying it 40 miles north one afternoon getting pushed along by a very generous tailwind only to start getting really nervous when I decided to turn and head for home.  I remember holding onto the stick, eyes glued to the fuel tank, hoping I’d get back to the airport before the last drop of fuel ran out.  I did! Here’s newly restored 1940 Porterfield LP-65 with partners Bud Sherretz, Randall Krystosek, Hank Meador & Fred Williams. On December 10, 1940 the Porterfield factory in Kansas City, MO completed the aircraft, serial number 842.  She had 14 owners over the next 30 years until purchased in 1972 by Tom Crane of Skylane Airport, Evansville, IN.  It remained at Skylane throughout the next 38 years , flyable until a tornado pounding 100 mph winds struck the airport in 1982.  Even though most of the airplanes based there were destroyed or substantially damaged by the wind, #842 received only minor damage; 3 left wing ribs were broken, the fin and rudder bent and the wooden turtledeck was fractured.  Due to the damage the airplane was taken out of service and stored in pieces in an old barn. Newly restored Porterfield NC32412 Fast forward to 2005 when the 4 partners made the decision to do a full and complete restoration of #842.  With the combined experience of amateur woodworkers & model airplane builders, auto body repairman, a Xerox field engineer who can repair anything electrical or mechanical smaller than a locomotive and of course the necessary veteran tailwheel pilot(s), their project  began. Beautiful from every angle Some of the details included replacing the entire turtledeck with 1/4″ aircraft five-ply plywood & straight-grain white cedar stringers, adding new side and bottom stringers, floor boards & seat panels, and covering in Dacron polyester fabric.  They needed replacements for the heel brake pads and found the reproduction Model A Ford accelerator pedal footrest was an exact duplicate.  All the instruments were tested, serviced and found to be in good working order.  Upper & lower cowl panels we irreparable and were duplicated. A freshly rebuilt Lycoming O-145-B2 was mounted and a gorgeous old Flottorp 69 x 44 prop hung in place. Local burled walnut was used on the new instrument panel On May 22, 2008, NC32412 flew again for the first time in 26 years.  Bud was given the honor being the pilot of the first flight.  The project required almost 2 years from start to finish with the partners meeting on a regular schedule at least three workdays a week. 1940 Porterfied NC32412 is based at 3EV, Evansville, IN Congratulations to Hank, Fred, Bud & Randall on a beautiful bird.  And oh, I’m patiently waiting for my first ride in 34 years!??!! Thanks to Vintage Airplane Magazine, Sept. 28 issue where you’ll find the complete story....

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