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What everhappened to all of the old homebuilts???

Posted By:
Doug MacDonald
Homebuilder or Craftsman
25
Posts
6
#1 Posted: 9/23/2009 13:56:34

I have been wondering for a while now, what has happened to all of the old time homebuilt aircraft?  There have been lots of planes assembled from plans before the McRV craze has taken over.  Where have all of these old time planes gone?  I would love to see a series in Sport Aviation or in the Experimenter E-Magazine about rescuing one of these old timers from a barn and restoring it to airworthy condition.

Doug MacDonald

Zenith 701 Scratch Builder

NW Ontario, Canada



Doug M CH-701 Scratch Builder CH#1012, Fort Frances, ON International Falls, MN
Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
328
Posts
137
#2 Posted: 9/23/2009 14:47:13

Thanks for your comment Doug.  The "old timers" are still out there, but for some reason you don't see as many of them attending the major fly-ins as much these days.  They haven't all disappeared though!

I'm sure there are more than a few stories of people who are restoring or resurrecting these "vintage" homebuilts.  If anyone knows of someone who is doing or has done just that, let us know.  Might be a story there!

Cheers!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Marl Halbrook
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
7
Posts
1
#3 Posted: 9/23/2009 21:52:09

It is happening.  I've done just that, and am doing it again right now. 

Found a sadly neglected EAA Biplane back in the mid '90s and restored it----she's now flying in Indiana (last I heard).

Am currently restoring a Starduster Too that was originally built in the early '70s.  Making a few mods and bringing a few things up to date with the most common changes that have come along since it was finished.

Good to preserve some classics!



Marl Halbrook, EAA TC/FA Albany GA Starduster Too BK-1 Beta
Dave Ostergaard
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
1
#4 Posted: 9/24/2009 17:35:09

Doug, I'm building a Stits Flut-R-Bug, adesign from the 50's By Ray Stits. I bought a bunch parts from various places, built wings and converted to conventional gear. Just finished and covering and painting. So far a 12 year project. Dave Ostergaard



Ross Carbiener
Homebuilder or Craftsman
15
Posts
2
#5 Posted: 9/24/2009 18:31:55

Doug,   I am restoring a Smith Miniplane built in 1964 by Vern Reller.  Vern used the airplane (N12312) to fly sportsman class aerobatics in EAA competitions.  Sadly, it has taken me much longer to restore the aircraft than the original build.  I am down to covering the tail surfaces and ailerons. 

 

Ross



Larry Corbin
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
Post
4
#6 Posted: 9/24/2009 21:27:34

Not all "old" homebuilts are in barns or being restored.  I made the first flight in my Flybaby after 2 1/2 yers of construction in July of 1970 and most recently a few days ago.  39 years and still owned and flown by the builder is probably a bit unusual but I bet there are a few others out there.  I flew it to Oshkosh in 1971 & 73.  Planning to fly it there again next year for its 40th anniversary.

 

Larry



LARRY CORBIN
Richard De Cramer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
2
Posts
3
#7 Posted: 9/24/2009 21:46:49

Ross...

 

I remember Vern Reller' s Miniplane from the 1960's in Sheboygan, WI when he was a pilot for Commuter Airlines and took flying lessons from him. In those days he would strap on his miniplane and do aerobatics not far from where I lived.  We kept in contact while he flew for the State of Wisconsin and later became the Wis. Governors' pilot until he retired after which I lost contact with him.  He has since passed away.   Real good to hear his miniplane is being taken care of.

 

Dick DeCramer

EAA 41800

Northfield, MN



Karl Schneider
2
Posts
1
#8 Posted: 9/27/2009 14:26:27

Doug,

There are a few of the old timers still around and active.  I have a 45 year old Baby Ace that's still plgging along.  It did spend 20+ years sitting in the garage of the second owner.  I feel an obligation to keep it going but, I am not afraid to make improvements.  It has vortex generators (One of the best safety improvements available!), extended gear, modern brakes, etc.  It's looking it's age to some degree but it flies...

Karl

Baby Ace, N1107



Joseph Maj
5
Posts
11
#9 Posted: 9/28/2009 06:24:21
Joe Norris wrote:

 

Thanks for your comment Doug.  The "old timers" are still out there, but for some reason you don't see as many of them attending the major fly-ins as much these days.  They haven't all disappeared though!

I'm sure there are more than a few stories of people who are restoring or resurrecting these "vintage" homebuilts.  If anyone knows of someone who is doing or has done just that, let us know.  Might be a story there!

Cheers!

Joe

 

How about an article in Sport Aviation on how to sell a homebuilt so that the chance of a lawsuit is practically zero? Might help get some more really nice homebuilts back into circulation.



Doug MacDonald
Homebuilder or Craftsman
25
Posts
6
#10 Posted: 9/28/2009 09:34:38
Joseph Maj wrote:

How about an article in Sport Aviation on how to sell a homebuilt so that the chance of a lawsuit is practically zero? Might help get some more really nice homebuilts back into circulation.

 

 

One suggestion to limit liability is to sell an older homebuilt into Canada.  First off our population, in general, is not anywhere as likely to sue over anything.  Secondly, our legal system is set up so that if you sue and loose, you have to pay all of the court costs and in certain cases the defendants legal costs as well.  That slows the money grubbers down significantly.  Third, law suites across international borders are not simple things.  Fourth, the aircraft essentially has to go through a complete Transport Canada approved final inspection before it can be flown.  This inspection is done by the same people that look after our Amateur Built program (MD-RA).

 

Now, the only complication to selling into Canada is that the aircraft has to have flown at least 100 hours.  Since many homebuilts do not have accurate journy logs, proving this might be a bit of a challenge.  At least this addresses some of the liability issues.

 

Doug MacDonald

NW Ontario, Canada



Doug M CH-701 Scratch Builder CH#1012, Fort Frances, ON International Falls, MN
Daniel McCaffery
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
4
Posts
0
#11 Posted: 9/30/2009 12:16:16

I hope that this response gets through.  I also miss seeing all the old homebuilts that we used to see at Rockford flyins.  I buitt a Pitts S-1c back in the late 60s, sold it in a couple of years, and it is now deregistered.  I presently fly and own an amateur built Pitts S-1s built in the late 70s, and am now building an EAA Biplane which I bought as a started project, which is coming along slowly, and which I will be flying to Oshkosh when it is completed.  \

Dan McCaffery



Joe Norris
Vintage Aircraft Association MemberYoung Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
328
Posts
137
#12 Posted: 9/30/2009 14:07:24

Dan,

Your post got through just fine!  Glad to hear that you're building an EAA Biplane.  There are still a few of these getting completed each year, even though the plans haven't been sold since the early 70s.  Have any idea what you're going to use for an engine yet?  I'm sure it will be a fun little plane when it's finished!

I used to have a Pitts S-1C that a fellow EAA member built.  Fun airplane for sure!  I'm sure your S-1S is a hoot too!

Fly Safely!

Joe



Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch'intrate
Timothy Heilig
Homebuilder or Craftsman
15
Posts
2
#13 Posted: 10/27/2009 22:56:14

Not a Fixed wing, but I am presently restoring a rare single seat helicom Commuter H1B helicopter that was build it 1968 and has log book endorsements from the designer Harold "pop" Emigh and was also later owned by Timarand international, the company that took over the design rights of the commuter.

Also it is a little known fact that the Safari Helicopter evolved from the 2 seat Commuter 2B,they simply installed a Bell-47 bubble on it and changed the landing gears.

 

I hope to have my Commuter H1B finished by the end of the year. it is powered by a Cont. C90-12F converted to an 0-200 100 h.p. My helicopter is N814S  s/n cws-1

 

Also my buddy Mike Edwards is rebuilding his Corben Baby Ace model D  N4959E this Baby Ace also has a rich history and can be seen in some early EAA film footage from the 60's


mike&babayace.jpg

 


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Ross Carbiener
Homebuilder or Craftsman
15
Posts
2
#14 Posted: 10/30/2009 21:18:34 Modified: 10/30/2009 21:25:36


PIC-0066.jpgDick,  Sorry for the delayed response.  I purchased the Miniplane from Vern's widow in 1996.  It is a fine airplane and rock solid in flight and just a touch squirrely on landing.  I got a response from Vern's family after the post and have been in contact with his son and grandson.  It seems as though Vern was just inducted into the Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame.  I am in the process of recovering it and have already overhauled the engine.  Hope to get it flying next spring and would be great if it could make it to Oshkosh.
PIC-0068.jpg

 

 



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Timothy Heilig
Homebuilder or Craftsman
15
Posts
2
#15 Posted: 11/12/2009 19:44:54

Update on N814S, just installed the main rotor blades this week.  hope to get it ready to test run in the next week or so.

 

the Fusalage hanging from the ceiling is Mike Edwards Baby Ace model "D" N4959E

he will be starting his rebuild soon as his new shop is ready.

 


IM009499.jpg



Erich Pfalzer
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
2
Posts
0
#16 Posted: 11/22/2009 18:55:57

Doug,   In the collection of plans I have there is a set known as the Doddle Bug.  This plane is an early design done in the late '50s early '60s. Has a steel tube fuselage with an aluminum wing.  Thinking about putting this one together.   Erich



Danny Bilyeu
3
Posts
0
#17 Posted: 11/23/2009 10:08:33

I see many vintage kitplanes listed on Ebay.  Most often Rotorway Scorpions;  also seen are KR-2s, Thorp T-18s, Midget Mustangs, BD-5s, Quickies, and Stolp Stardusters.  Others pop up from time to time.

I do wonder if many of the other homebuilts were designed with an eye for longevity. 



Danny Bilyeu
3
Posts
0
#18 Posted: 11/23/2009 10:13:13

Oops, forgot my other point.  Many of the old homebuilts, from the 60's and 70's, even the 80's were built by WW2 vets that had skills and craftsmanship not common today.  Unfortunately, many can no longer fly.  Their homebuilts often are left to family members with no interest in flying and therefore are left to rot or scrapped.



Ron Wanttaja
246
Posts
98
#19 Posted: 11/26/2009 02:21:17
Joseph Maj wrote:

 

How about an article in Sport Aviation on how to sell a homebuilt so that the chance of a lawsuit is practically zero? Might help get some more really nice homebuilts back into circulation.

Well...this is kind of a "Bad News/Good News" situation.

The bad news is that there *is* no way to completely shed one's vulnerability to a lawsuit. 

Get the buyer to sign a waiver?  The buyer cannot waive his spouse's or children's right to sue, nor will the waiver helps you if he re-sells the plane.

Disassemble the plane and sell it as parts?  The makers of aviation parts are sued all the time!

The fact is, if someone *wants* to sue you, they will, and there's no way to dance around it.  Even if you got them to sign an ironclad waiver, their suit can claim you mis-represented the condition of the parts and thus the waiver should be nullified.

The good news?  Well, the good news is that lawsuits against homebuilders are extremely rare.  There have been numerous suits against kit companies, but I'm only aware of one against a builder...and the builder was dismissed from the suit very early.

It all boils down to "deep pockets"...most homebuilders don't have them.  The typical lawsuit after a crash is handled on a contingency basis, where the plaintiff's attorney is paid a rather hefty portion of any settlement.   If the judgment puts the defendant into bankruptcy, the plaintiff's attorney will have expended hundreds of hours for nothing.  The builder of a typical Pietenpol, Baby Ace, T-18, and other older homebuilts shouldn't have much to worry about.   The vast majority don't have the kind of liquid assets that would attract an attorney on a contingency basis.

This doesn't even get into the issues involved with convincing a jury that someone who buys an "amateur-built" flying machine could have any expectation of  a given level of quality. The FAA actually does us a favor here, by requiring us to put "Passenger Warnings" on our airplanes that warn any or all occupants that the aircraft does comply with federal safety standards. 


 



Ron Wanttaja
Creighton King
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#20 Posted: 11/28/2009 20:17:13

I currently own 2 old Cassutts flown back in the 70's.  one I am rebuilding and modifying to be more comfortable  It raced Reno in 75 and 76. The other one is a Model 2 i just sold to a reno racer to base his next racer on.  it is the yellow one hanging in the photo.   Creighton salt lake city


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