Ottumwa Municipal Airport was the national headquarters of the Antique Airplane Association (AAA) in 1967 when this article was written by Don Pratt for American Modeler magazine, but today it is located about 10 miles west of Ottumwa at Antique Airfield. Maybe ever since Radar O'Reilly made 'put Ottumwa on the map' in the M*A*S*H television series, the Muni got so busy that AAA had to move. Or not. This is a great collection of photos of full-size airplanes many of which probably don't even exist anymore... at least in airworthy condition.
Antiques Fly Again
By Don Pratt
A green and silver 1929 Waco 10 with the Curtiss WWI surplus OX-5 engine. Note men using "Armstrong" starter to coax the engine to make noise.
The Staggerwing Beechcraft is still a fast and popular machine for pure transportation. This model "G" is all black with cream trim lines.
Designed as an aerobatic club-owned trainer, Fairchild 22 C-7F was not too popular. Few were made from 1932 through 1938.
Sid Hess' 1930 Fleet biplane powered by the 125-hp Kinner five-cylinder radial. Several still fly actively around the country.
"Topeka Robin," 1929 Curtiss Robin, 225-hp Lycoming power.
Sharp looking acrobatic favorite, Great Lakes 2T-1A equipped with a 165-hp Warner. Owned by Dale Drummond, of Olathe, Kan.
Would you believe? A 1929 Stinson SM-2 "Detroiter." It is the only one in existence and is superbly restored. By Bob Jenkins.
A smooth and popular bush plane is the Cessna "Airmaster." Note the cantilever wing - lt is pre-WWII design!
The Travelaire 4000 of the depression days. It has a front-cockpit door. Undercambered airfoil - lots of lift.
Fairchild 71 (FC-2), Wright 225-hp engine, folding wings for storage.
ST-7 Stinson. This plane was the one from which the popular 82-in. Cleveland model kit was patterned. The first double-taper wing.
The oldest Monocoupe still flying, a 1929 Velie-powered plane in black and red-orange paint scheme.
About the same time the first warm breezes come whistling out of the south, and the front lawn commences to turn green around the edges, it's time for the start of the Antique Airplane fly-in season. Things get off to a slow galloping start with dozens of local weekend get-togethers at airports all over the country. The first really big fling is when the antiques scoot into Rockford, Illinois to help the homebuilders live it up at their annual National Fly-In Convention during the first week of August. Nearly as many antiques show up at Rockford as do homebuilts, but for the "old and bold" this is just a warm-up for the big show at Ottumwa, Iowa over the Labor Day holidays.
Ottumwa Municipal Airport is the national headquarters of the Antique Airplane Association, and when the first week of September rolls around that's where the action is. Every year this event gets bigger and this year 281 (our count) antique (over 25 years old) and vintage aircraft showed up to be displayed. Every sort of aged flying machine could be seen lined up side by side on the parking ramps. You could see, smell, feel, and flip over such juicy subjects as the powerful "H" model F-51 Mustang or a 30 hp Curtiss-Wright "Junior," or maybe an absolutely perfect 1929 Velie Monocoupe. For a long-time scale bug like myself, the fly-ins this year were a ball. I went to everyone I could reach, including Rockford and Ottumwa, armed with my cameras, dozens of rolls of film, a press pass, and a helpful wife-type assistant. I photographed every airplane that showed up and would layout prints of the whole bunch right here for you to see, but there just isn't room. So, here instead is a selection of photos of the very best of them, the sharpest rebuilds, the rarest birds.
A 1930 Brunner-Winkle Bird CK biplane flown in by Nicholas J. Kiscki. Note windscreens, undercambered airfoil, and door on front cockpit.
The wonderful Waco "Taperwing" of 1929. This is a truly magnificent restoration by the Hogan Brothers of Hamilton, Ohio.
Arrow Sport model "M" of 1937 used converted Ford V-8 engine.
The always popular Ryan STA, a favorite of movie stunt pilot "Tex" Rankin during the 1930's.
A 1935 Aeronca C-3 with a very unusual paint scheme. It is equipped with the 36-hp Aeronca E-113 engine. An all-time favorite.
One of those planes that really turns you on! The Stearman PT-17 with the big 450·hp radial engine. (Just like Sterling's kit.)
There is always a Curtiss-Wright "Junior." This is re-engined 1931 model.
Warner 165·hp powered Fairchild 24W whose finish inside and out is fabulous. Not an uncommon plane even today.
A Stinson Trimotor showed its short-field ability with a quick, easy takeoff.
A Curtiss-Wright "Fledgling." It has a huge wing span of nearly 50 ft. and a 170·hp six-cylinder Challenger radial engine.
Posted December 5, 2013