#35351 Gwaa sept v2 - Great War Aeroplanes Association
From Page 1–
My dad didn’t like
my son Phil, Jr. and his two year old
Al Cvelbar of Sharon,
Pennsylvania built a Graham Lee
Nieuport three years ago. He would call
me three times a week and ask “You drill
any holes yet?” Finally, in January 2009,
I built a table, and Rick Bennett came
down and helped me lay out one side of
the fuselage on butcher paper. We
started hack sawing, fish mouthing,
drilling, and riveting tubes and gussets.
Rick would come once a week and be a
slave driver. He said he was easy
compared to Robert Baslee. Marvin
Story, on one of his trips east, helped rig
the wings. The last year and a half went
fast. When we got to the lower wings, I
tried my hand at rib stitching. The
Polyfiber book says “lacing.” (Fred
Murrin thinks stitching is more
masculine.) Every knot was different.
On the main wings, we called the Queen
of Stitching: Marsha Murphy (aka Fred
Murrin’s beautiful blonde lady friend and
the rhubarb pie winner at the fair). She
and Fred knocked out each wing in about
an hour and a half. I at least got the
Sunrise pepperoni pizza and Diet Coke. I
still owe Fred Black Velvet. The Tuesday
before Gardner 2010, I scheduled the
FAA examiner, Dean Glasser, from
Until after Midnight, it was butt holes
and elbows; Rick Bennett, Al Cvelbar,
Bill Wonders, Fred Murrin (and I did do
something—I just don’t remember what)
lacing the front deck, getting the cowling
to fit, transplanting the air cleaner,
making the bottom pan, the top
underwing pan, compass correction
placard, etc. The next morning, Fred
attached the ASI to the left strut, and
Rick screwed on the cowling and
attached the registration number and
experimental decal just in time for Dean
Glasser to start shining his little
flashlight and go over his checklist. I
paced like an expectant father. Rick sat
in his bench seat removed from his van
waxing eloquently on all Nieuport
subjects. His completed masterpiece sat
next to my newborn. Finally, after
signing some papers, Dean ceremoniously
handed me a pink slip (the good kind).
There were pictures and congratulations
If You Are Interested In Reliving
World War One Aviation
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Volume 13, Issue 3
THE ‘GREAT’ TIMES
Trailer Weenie Phil Arbie gets busy assembling his Baslee Nieupart after the 900 mile drive
all around. It helped to have Rick
Bennett, the chief engineer, there to let
the FAA inspector know that he had
successfully built his own Nieuport and
had helped others. It may have also
helped that Dean’s wife is Italian and
that my plane’s paint scheme is Italian.
As soon as the inspector left, it was time
to take the newly certified, airworthy
machine apart and stuff it in the new
trailer (another story) and head for
The first phase of the adventure was
complete. Rick Bennett says it is just a
pile of junk until I fly it. I have to fly it???
On Tuesday July 20, 2010, Rick’s wife
had the rug hookers over (no jokes
please) so he was free to make the timing
adjustments. Now nothing left to do but
fly or get off the pot. A lot of folks
wanted to come and watch my first
attempt. Why? I was scared 1) I would
not have the guts to take off; 2) the
plane would not fly; 3) I would crash on
landing. I was freaking out and the
audience would have amplified my terror.
I told Rick the wind was too calm, the
clouds too dark and weren’t there more
adjustments needed? Of course I knew
the answer. Do or Die; or maybe Do and
Die. Oh well. Who wants to end up old
in a nursing home, not knowing your
name with your diaper full. While doing
the run up I consulted Fred through
Marsha “Do you think crow hopping or
just going for it is better?” Fred agreed
with me—“go for it.” Part of my theory
is if you only get 20 feet off the ground
you have to set up the landing in a hurry
and you might be going too fast to keep
the airplane straight. So I taxied real fast
and straight and before I knew it I was
climbing in a beautiful Italian replica
Nieuport Biplane that 18 months ago
was a pile of tubes. Wow. Like Dan
Moadus, who built and flew his own legal
eagle, said you will “think this was easy—
what was I so afraid of?” What a thrill!—
buzzing the airport in an open cockpit
plane—it flies. Later after a good landing
and a hotdog Rick rolled his Belgian
Nieuport and we flew in formation.
Then after 2 landings swerving in the
high grass and the last one pretty
straight, Fred held up a big card with a 1.
He said .33 for all 3 landings. Marsha
Murphy took the pictures. Hugs and
handshakes and congratulations all
around and celebration with a rootbeer
and hangar talk. They say the first flight
in your homebuilt is like the day you
solo. Amen to that. If I knew it was
going to go that good I would have
wanted all the folks who wanted to come
to be there. Happy Landings to all.
Since 1996, the GWAA Dawn Patrol
Rendezvous at The National Museum of
The United States Air Force in Dayton,
Gathering of Eagles in
Gardner, Kansas have
been the primary
WW1 fly-in events in
the U.S. But Jerry
Yeagan in Virginia
recently held the first
of what will be an
ongoing event for WW1 aircraft
enthusiasts at his remarkable facility
during the last weekend in September
2010. The Biplanes and Zeppelins Air
show has become a new event for WW1
aviation enthusiasts to add to their
calendar and with good reason.
Your intrepid newsletter editor made the
trip with his trusty Nieuport along with
GWAA members Phil Arbie with his
Nieuport and Rolland Gilliam with his
full scale SE-5A. Rick will have a full
report on his adventures in the next
This new venue, at which Jerry will hold
a WW1 fly-in annually, is good news to
our humble movement. It proves that
interest in WW1 Aviation is on the rise
and events such as this will help to
attract new enthusiasts. Jerry has an
impressive facility with two long turf
runways from which he flies his
collection of WW2-era aircraft, so it is
ideal from which to fly WW1 aircraft. He
is beginning to collect WW1
reproduction aircraft to add to his
collection and is adamant about flying
–Continued on Page 15
Phil Arbie’s N-23 on the flightline. Since Gardner, Phil has flown off his restriction and
attended the Virginia Beach Air Show.
My dad didn’t like airplanes
By Phil Arbie
My dad didn’t like airplanes. I have no
idea why he let Uncle Willie take me up
in a J-3 at Lyon’s grass strip when I was
10. Since 8th grade, I have wanted to be
a bush pilot, and I wanted to build an
airplane. I used to fantasize about being
tiny and flying in a model airplane. After
the army, I got a job at Packard Electric
in Warren, Ohio. 9000 women building
auto harnesses and a couple hundred
men hanging wires. We were called
service boys. That story for another time.
I would drive by a grass strip with a
weather beaten, rounded roof hanger
with yellow Cubs parked out front. I
started taking lessons with Ernie Hall,
the oldest pilot in the United States. He
knew the Wright Brothers and taught
Jim Doolittle to fly. Fifteen minutes for
$3.00. Four or five take offs and
landings. I soloed with Ernie, and he put
my name on a chalkboard.
Through marriage, kids, college, career,
farm, and politics, I managed to squeeze
in a private license. Then, ten years ago,
the money and the Citabria occurred
simultaneously. On one venture to
Greenville, PA, I saw Rick Bennett’s
Nieuport and Fred Murrin’s Tri-Fokker. I
was smitten with the WWI open cockpit
bi-planes. Rick eagerly shared how he
got started. Later, in 2005, I talked to
Graham Lee in Canada and got his plans.
Rick gave me a material list he had made
up. My 1989 Dodge Pickup overheated
on the way to Dillsburg to buy tubing. I
Sometime later, Rick told me that Robert
Baslee was offering a discounted kit to
coincide with the Fly Boys movie. He
said it would save a lot of time chasing
parts. My paralegal Emily “borrowed” my
credit card and ordered the Baslee kit.
The 14’ box of parts lay in the garage for
three years. Meanwhile, I settled a case
and got the $2,300.00 for a Great Plains
VW engine. I picked up the five boxes of
parts on a trip to Omaha while visiting
–Continued on Page 16
Building a WWI replica from someone’s kit
or plans?....No More Using CAD
From Page 1–
By Jan Servaites (Kettering, OH)
everything in his collection.
These events serve a variety of useful
purposes, one of which is to give builders
a goal to work towards. One example is
the Nieuport of Phil Arbie, whose early
flights are also detailed elsewhere in this
newsletter. His goal was to finish his
airplane and fly off the 40 hour
restriction in time to go to the Biplanes
and Zeppelins Air Show. He made it not
without a few bumps and bruises along
It was a good event and I’m sure it will
continue to grow and hopefully all of you
can make it a point to get to one of them.
And hey, it’s Virginia Beach after all,…
how tough can it be?
The purpose of this article is to discuss
some of my ideas to design & build a 90%
Albatros D-III replica. So, this isn’t a
“kit” building article, but instead it’s a
quick look at one of many ways to design
one’s own WWI replica by stressing the
use of an aircraft designer’s professional
design tools. Maybe you are aware of the
CAD engineering software out there and
maybe you have seen the innovative, RC
giant scale modelers using advanced
engineering tools like CAD in their
building of ?, 1/3, and now ? scale RC
models. It’s very interesting to me to see
these modelers applying some pretty high
technical skills in the building of their
high fidelity WWI models. But, I don’t
see that level of effort in the man-flying
WWI replicas. Are most replica projects
built from kit/plans or scratch built to
museum standards from factory drawings?
Yes they mostly are, but I wanted to
provide an example of one builder
thinking outside-the-box to design &
build a WWI replica. I wanted a subject
that would be a difficult one to build and
not seen much offered in plans & kits. I
chose the Albatros D-III as the subject
for my replica building effort. Here are a
couple of points that I came up with, by
observing the whole field of WWI replica
building and flying for many years:
Design layout – My philosophy (much
the same as many others) is I want the
external surfaces to resemble the real
airplane as much as possible, so the
original shape will dictate much of what
goes on inside and affecting much of the
I have been very busy designing my own replica. Since I really like the N12 size (about 27'
wing span), I am working on a 90% Albatros D.III with all aluminum wings (very similar
to the N12's construction). The fuselage is a mixture of steel tube, wood & fiberglass. The
powerplant will typically be a Suzuki 2.5L I6 (yes, I said inline 6), and it's all aluminum. If
this works, it could be revolutionary.
I'm currently designing the 3D fuselage shell in my CAD program. I did some CAD work
on the wing and I made up a mockup of the wing rib.
airplane’s performance (due to the drag of
the biplane configuration, limited
choices of engines, weight and general
documentation will give the outside
shape of the airplane. The 3-views from
the Datafile publications and as well as
detailed modern drawings based on
Good morning Mr. Bennett,
I was very pleased to receive the latest
GWAA newsletter in our mail box
yesterday. You must be congratulated for
an outstanding job with this one (as all of
the issues before, I hasten to add).
There sure is a lot of very interesting stuff
going on, and coming up, and I
appreciate your good efforts for keeping
Now I do wish to ask a question, knowing
full well that it is well over a year early :
when we have attended the GWAA
banquets at the AFM in the past, I have
never quite known who, and when, to
contact regarding the purchase of tickets.
So could you kindly fill me in on the
correct procedure so that I may be
properly prepared for 2011 ?
Thanks very much, Chocks away,
In th last newsletter you called for period
items to furnish the aerodrome. I have a
box of books from that time that I would
like to dontate, however, you did not
provide an address I could send them to.
Would you please email me the address?
Get the GWAA Look!
Get the GWAA Look!
$ received and will
Mary’s books have been
be making it to Newville in a couple
to be enjoyed
the pilots staying
in the chateau.
GWAA ball caps 10
factory drawings, would give a good
Get the GWAA Look!
“planform” view of the aircraft’s profile.
However, on the inside I prefer to use
modern materials primarily using metal
and as little wood as possible. The
German aircraft mostly had wooden,
semi-monocoque fuselages and mine
Patrol polo shirts 20
–Continued on Page 3
Hats and tee shirts are tan;
Hats and tee shirts are tan;
Plans sets of more than 8 WW I aircraft are
available from member Jim Kiger. The
intention is for the purchasers to use these to
build absolutely authentic reproductions and
are drawn to exact scale with all dimensions
listed as on the full size aircraft.
These plans were drawn using original
factory drawings and erection manuals and
personal research. Documentation Packs are
available for some aircraft and include 5
view drawings and color chips.
Prices range from $40 to $85 plus S&H. For
OTHER WW I AVIATION
PUBLICATIONS & ORGANIZATIONS
P.O. Box 420234
Palm Coast, FL 32142-0234
Cross & Cockade International
c/o Andrew Kemp
Lowe Cottage, Saltonstalls Lane
Luddenden Dene, Halifax,
West Yorkshire HX2&TR, GB
Midwest Chapter U.S.A. Cross & Cockade
Contact: Bob Sheldon,
14329 So. Calhoun Avenue,
Burnham, Illinois 60633,
P.O. Box 1050
Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1050
Over The Front
RO. Box 2475
Rockford, IL 61132-2475
Replica Fighters Association
1528 S.KoeUer, Box 111
Oshkosh. WI 54901-6167
Vintage Airplane, Experimenter
EAA, RO. Box 3086,
Oshkosh, WI 54903-3086
W-W 1 Aero
P O Box 730
Red Hook, NY 12571
War Birds International
P.O. Box 127
Blakesburg, Iowa 52536
10 Long View,
Beikhamsted, Herts, HP4 Iby, UK
Saint Louis Escadrille
For One Year Membership to GWAA:
Please send all copy and
(Includes 4 Issues of The Great Times
enclose $15.00 in an envelope with your
the polo shirtsthe
and mail to:
Membership to to
Sizes S, L,
15815 Thompson Road
Hat and polo shirt GWAA logo
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shirts are Great
PA 18951 ÍHereDues
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is embroidered; tee shirts
2120 Richland TO
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contact Fred Murrin:
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To order contact
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CHECK YOUR RENEWAL DATE
ON YOUR MAILING LABEL!
From Page 2–
No More Using CAD
be a semi-monocoque, wood/fiberglass
shell and welded steel tube sub-frame on
the inside. The airfoil will be a NACA
4412 (12% thickness, Clmax of 1.5), so
the wing spars will have a deep web for
Design layout vs. Design analysis – From
a design analysis standpoint, your design
requirements are used to estimate how
big (full scale or some percentage scale)
the aircraft should be, how big the wing
should be, how big an engine should you
buy. If you picked an engine, you’ll work
backwards to determine what airplane
capabilities you can hope to get out of it.
How much will it weigh? What’s the stall
speed? I’m not going to into specifics at
this point, on ways to find those values,
but I can recommend a very good
comprehensive guide that simplifies
aircraft design for homebuilders. It’s
Daniel Raymer’s book titled simply
enough as Simplified Aircraft Design For
Homebuilders. He will show you simple
math calculations to estimate sizing,
performance and so on. I find it best to
use an Excel Spreadsheet to do the design
& analysis calculations, and he provides
a complete spreadsheet file for you, so
you don’t have write your own. Another
good design guide is Donald Crawford’s
book, A Practical Guide to Airplane
Performance & Design. You can easily
write a spreadsheet using Crawford’s
equations & step-by-step analysis. The
math is very elementary and he
demonstrates the use of “nomograms” so
the reader can immediately make valid
performance calculations for his new
design by connecting the parameter
values with hand drawn lines (it’s a
graphical technique). To start building a
new aircraft design without any previous
analysis in the final design is foolish, I
think. Being overly ambitious into
building could be a waste of money/time,
especially if the engine has NOT even
been selected, procured. Don’t put off
thinking about the engine for sometime
in the future.
As I am writing this article my analysis is
on-going, but my CAD work is pretty
much done. Besides the CAD giving me
precise body shapes, like fuselage station
profiles, and wing tip/rudder/stab airfoils,
it will also give me physical parameters
like surface area, volume and weight
(selecting a body’s material could be
aluminum, steel, plastic, wood, just about
anything). It will also give the CG of a
body, which will be very useful in
modeling the balance of the airplane. All
this can be known before any building is
started. I have done some cockpit sizing
using a CAD rendered pilot (a 95th
percentile male) and the power plant
that I’m going to use. All of the
individual CAD “parts” (wing spars &
ribs, rudder, fuselage, undercarriage,
engine, pilot and so on) are then
assembled into a CAD “assembly”. Now I
can get the first impression of what my
airplane will look like. I can actually see
my airplane in 3D and I can view it from
any angle. I can also get moment arm
lengths and start doing some weight &
moment calculations to find the
airplane’s CG and its relation to the
wing’s CP for stability concerns. All this
information I can analyze and I can firm
up my design before any metal is bent.
Now, that’s cool.
Structures – You have to define the
overall concept and arrangement of the
internal structure before one can design
the actual “parts” of the airplane. A good
structural arrangement is the provision of
good “load paths”, and they are short,
straight and continuous (not broken up
in any way). Now, some professional
CAD programs will perform load
simulations on a structure (like an engine
mount, the wing struts, a steel tube
frame), by using what’s called “finite
element analysis (FEA)” and I intend to
do some FEA on the important
Cooling – I have seen a lot of examples of
not-so-hot cooling systems in homebuilts
and I guess these builders just didn’t
understand the theory for a cooling
system that really works. Being close to
the propeller gives us turbulent flow and
pulses if too close to it. So, where is the
clean flow and high pressure on the
aircraft? Simple, the wing!….and that is
where Albatros originally placed the
radiator in the D-III, and that’s were I
will place mine. (For more information
on cooling systems, go to www.ch601.org
and look for “builder resources” link and
then cooling systems; An article by Hans
Making it better - When designing the
structures, there were a lot of guesses
made, and its best to go back, and see if a
redesign could make the craft lighter &
stronger & simpler to build. As an
example, instead of making the top wing
in three pieces (the center wing section
stays mounted on the cabanes), the wing
will become two pieces with just one
seam in the middle, and not two seams.
It’s a lot simpler that way, and stronger
too. Remember….build it light!
Art Pearson, Kewanee, IL ,Nieuport
17 builder and pilot passed away on
6/23/10. Fighting infection for
several months passed away at 2:00
He flew his VW powered Nieuport
17 for over 1000 hrs before building
his Continental powered Nieuport
17 and flying it for several hundred
hours more. An expert VW
mechanic, Nieuport builder and
He will be missed.......
OFFICERS & STAFF
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619-D 75 Circle, Kansas City KS 66112
15815 Thompson Road, Thompson, OH 44086
email: [email protected]
Top - Some views of the completed 90% Albatros D-III, CAD rendering.
Middle - The final lofting of the fuselage, including the spinner/ cabanes/landing gear strut; A sample of a top wing rib and work-in-progress of
the port, top wing assembly.
Bottom – The 95th percentile pilot; The 2.5L I6 155hp engine to be used; Some views of fitting the pilot into the cockpit.)
Again, nice job on the GWAA
newsletter. It looks great
That was a great article, so was the 1903
Champagne any good?
(Hey, I know you guys are having too
much fun, so why are you guys frowning?)
Wow! What a fantastic job. Professional
in every way. After reading it, front to
back, and before filing it, I am proud to
leave it on the coffee table for everyone
to see. Keep up the great work.
I plan to submit articles on our 'Tommy
Come Home' project soon as we are
now full speed ahead.
Well, It's official!
Tim doesn't like to brag, so I'll take the
liberty of doing it for him...
As of this afternoon, Tim is now a
certified private pilot. He passed his
check ride and verbal testing with flying
colors, and is now on his way home to
what will probably be his first good
night's sleep in a while.
Hope you don't mind me boasting on
him a little, but I'm pretty proud of him.
I think that Tim is living proof that if you
want something bad enough, you won't
let things like large hurdles and nearly
impossible logistics keep you from your
Good Job Tim!!!
Wes Jones’s recently completed Sopwith Pup. Wes passed his FAA inspection, and has put the first few flights on in the beginning
of October. Wes designed and built this airplane from scratch using Replicraft drawings.
Hey Rick. I received the copy of GWT
yesterday. Thanks so much for sending
that along and thanks especially for
placing an ad for me in there. You've
spurred me into finally joining GWAA,
which is something I've meant to do for a
LONG time but kept putting off.
BTW, are you by any chance planning on
attending the Fly-in at VA Beach in
Russell Smith Studios
Well, I couldn't resist to get Rick's trailer into CAD today (it took about 4 hours, I could do it in a lot less now. This was my first
weldment). I got some more trimming to make it look nicer. If anyone wants a detailed drawing or whatever, I think I can provide it.
There is also a cut list of all the 1" square tubes and the 3" channel. The top incline is 14 degrees by the way. To see if an airplane will
fit, I would need a good side profile picture and dimensions of the airplane.
I have taken Rick's plans to the next step in evolution, and rendered his trailer in CAD (SolidWorks Weldments). The CAD program
will give me a "material cut list" of each member's length to be cut. Also, it can tell me the weight of the trailer as well as the CG of
it. It's all very neat stuff. Also, I can resize the trailer to fit a larger airplane, and print out the 2D drawing and it's material cut list as
well. Here is a picture of my CAD rendering, per his original drawing dimensions: www.janswerks.com/aircraft/trailer
It was built in ten days by two guys working part time. It works well to have one guy cutting with a chop saw and the other welding.
All welding was done with a 110 volt, 110 amp MIG welder. Anyone attempting this project should check to make sure their model
of aircraft will fit properly. Any of the dimensions could be changed to accommodate another type or scale. This trailer weighed in at
650 lbs empty, complete, and ready to travel. I have towed it 900 miles one way to Gardner with my Toyota Rav 4 with a 2 liter motor.
A vehicle with a V6 would be a better choice. It tracks well on the road even in some pretty high winds. It does move around some
when you are close to a semi truck, but nothing dangerous.
Supplies needed are as follows;
1 ea) Axle with springs of the width to fit you frame (I had to
cut mine and add 6" in the middle)
3 ea) Wheels and tires (Mine are 13" rims with trailer rated tires,
don't forget the spare)
2 ea) Fenders
1 ea) Hitch to fit 2" tube
2 ea) Safety chains
1 ea) Light kit
30 Yds) Aircraft fabric (I used the heavy stuff)
2 ea) Rolls 2" aircraft fabric tape
1 gal) Water base contact glue (I used 3m Fastbond 30)
1 gal) Latex house paint
6 ea) Exterior plywood sheets, 3/8"
4 ea) Hinges for the rear door, 4"
4 ea) Hinges for the front and top doors, 3"
1 ea) Lift jack with wheel for the front (So you can move it
around when disconnected from your tow vehicle)
2 qts) Varnish for the plywood
1 qt) Rusty red primer
1 qt) Gray enamel
8 ea) Bolts, for doors, 3/8" x 1 1/2"
2 ea) Bolts, grade 8 for safety chains, 3/8" x 1"
10 ea) Nuts, for above bolts, 3/8"
8 ea) 1 1/4" long pieces 3/8" ID steel tube, heavy wall, for
bushings at door bolts
100 ea) Self tapping 1/4" x 3/4" countersunk flat head screws
(For the plywood deck)
Steel channel 3" x 2" x 1/8" for the main frame (Have this
pressed by your local steel fab shop)
2 ea) 12'
4 ea) 66"
3 ea) 36"
Steel tube 2" x 2" x 1/8" for the tongue
1 ea) 54"
Steel tube 1" x 1" x 1/16" for the upper structure
300' (You may need extra for screw ups or if you change
the overall dimensions)
Attached is a photo of the DH-4 as of July 10th. Making some progress.
The cabane arrangement is a rough-cut temporary arrangement I put together to get me thinking about the final installation. Wes,
you can see that I have it set-up as the Jenny plans show (top wing forward).
Still a long way to go
Hope the weekend has been
good to you and the work is
Was a good "wood" weekend
for old Bill. I got all my
wood cut and rough formed
out the attached photo.
From L to R are my landing
gear legs (still need to cut &
form the bottom), front wing
struts, rear wing struts, and
believe that I was able to get
them all through this stage
over the weekend. This
wood is very nice stuff.
See you later this week.
The Airdrome Aeroplanes Sopwith F.1 Camel
flew on 10 July after FAA airworthiness
certification the day before. This flight
culminated a build started in November 2009
following the Dayton Dawn Patrol event. Blake
Thomas' Nieuport 28 was the performance goal
(so formation could be flown), and test pilot
Harvey Cleveland reports that the goals were met.
Now for fellow builders, the nitty gritty.
The Rotec R-3600 swinging a 90 x 48 Culver
propeller, static rpm of 1750 rpm prop and 2650
engine - BIG CAVEAT - tachometer has not been
double checked, but this almost exactly duplicates
Ray Jarvis' R-3600 numbers with a similar
propeller. While well down the 3600 engine rpm
range, this produced a healthy 550 - 570 pounds of
thrust. I feel pretty strongly that once broken in,
and perhaps other tweaking, it will easily reach
600 pounds of thrust.
With two electronic ignitions, it starts instantly. The throttle body injector is its own entity, and we are learning how to best use it. I
STRONGLY feel it is superior to the stock supplied 40mm Bing carb. based on my limited experience so far. One trhing you do notice
is that the Rotec 9
cylinder is much quieter than you expect, and very smooth. From the ground, vintage aviation author Eric Preston said it sounded
much like a 80 hp LeRhone in the air.
The cockpit was bone stock Sopwith, with many original 90 yeaqr old instruments such as a compass, watch and altimeter that were
original Camel equipment. Most every other instrument, control stick, throttle quadrant and others were exact reproductions of the
The Sopwith currently has provisions for brakes, but not hooked up. At just over 1100 pounds test AUW, it is no little light airplane
and has some serious inertia to be managed on the ground. This test was on grass, but it will absolutely need brakes on any prepared
surface. The steering tailwheel was wonderfully positive, and at least for us frequent flyers, a very neccesary compromise.
On take off roll, not pushing the plane at all, the tail comes up smartly and the plane unsticks in about 400 feet. Climb out seems
happy at 60 or so mph. We did not push the climb, but a normal climb rate of about 600 or so feet a minute was what it seemed. All
of the controls were not neck jerking, but positive. One thing that impressed the test pilot the was the wide speed
envelope of the airplane where no trim was needed; you just put it there and it stayed. I personally think this is probably attributable
to the original Sopwith designers' mass concentration. For you technical folks, we have 1.5 degree wing AOI with 0 degree horizontal
stab AOI, lower wing dihedral of 5 degrees and zero degrees for the top wing. The engine has a down thrust of 2 degrees. The test CG
was about 24% MAC. Controls were described a sweetly
harmonized and normal stick pressures - seems Sopwith got their control surface areas dead nuts on. Slips wonderfully. Did not do a
full stall series this flight.
At reduced power settings, the airplane would fly happily loafing between 80 - 90 mph at 1650 rpm indicated Lower the nose wee bit
at same settings and it would easily pick up to 100 mph
indicated. Again - these are indicated and not verified against
an external source, but it was a new ASI.
Approach was tried at 70 and 80 mph, both worked fine.
When the power is pulled, the plane does not slow as fast as
you think it might (inertia), bur settles gently down to the
runway conventionally. Without brakes or skid, it had a
loooong roll out (inertia) of about 1000 feet.
Many thanks to Robert Baslee and the Airdrome team, Harvey
We actually had a camera ship with noted author Eric Preston
on board, and here are a couple of photos. I think it's the best
looking Camel replica flying, but I'm biased.
Get the GWAA Look!
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AA tee shirts
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Hats and tee shirts are tan;
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From Page 9–
I've put together a youtube video, a
combination of vids and stills. I think
you'll see the tone of the experience I
walked away with. I think I got some nice
shots of many of the aircraft. Especially
for the newbie's, wanna-be's and
dreamers, if you ever have the chance to
attend one of the group events, don't pass
it up. You'll meet friends and like minded
people with the 1st smile or handshake..
Hope you enjoy it,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
★ New GWAA Website
you had a geat holiday. Wanted to let you know that
our website is now on-line. Go to www.gwaero.com and let
★ me know what you think. Looking for in-put on
and more information/projects/video, etc. I
didn’t have that much to work with. I’d really like to beef our
★ site up quickly and Go-Daddy is pretty easy to use and make
Please keep in touch.
★ Mike Day (Webmaster) [email protected]
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
By Tom Grant
These photos show the results of a dream
I had 15 years ago to design and build a
replica microlight 1918 German
Albatros D5a as the opponent of the
SE5a in WW1. I built the SE5a from a
set of Replica Plans some 36 years ago. (I
As there were no plans for the Albatros
as a microlight I had to dream some up. I
have no qualifications in this field
having been a salesman and businessman
(now retired) The tricky part was to
construct the semi-monocoque fuselage,
the originals being built of birch ply. To
overcome the double curve I used the
boat building system of carvel planking,
which worked fine.
After some initial modifications and
adjustments it now flies hands off at
cruise revs. 7 hours have been flown to
It is powered by a Toyota 4AGE 1600
fuel injected 120hp engine with a cog
belt redrive of 2.57:1 ratio with a 78 - 56
prop. The maximum speed is 80 mph at
5250 engine revs, cruise 75 mph at 4500
revs. It stalls at 40 mph and at take off
you feel the back of the seat. Empty
weight is 870 lbs.
This project was completed with the help
and advice of many people who have
enabled me to accomplish this dream.
Come visit New Zealand - perhaps we
can have a dog fight!
Plans could be available after 40 hours
has been completed, providing I have not
exceeded my life span, just now 82.
From New Zealand
Thanks so much for sending me the copy of GWAA’s “The
‘Great’ Times. I found Fred Murrin’s article about the
Sopwith Pup particularly interesting, and the photos were
fascinating. It looked to me like the “Pup” designers had
solved the problem of lateral stability on landing that
Nieuport 11’s seem to have, by moving the main gear slightly
aft - as some N-11 folks have been doing.
I got started building my experimental version N-11 with
plans #549 shortly after I retired over a decade ago - had a
close relationship with Graham Lee, and worked hard on it
for a couple of years, long enough to get serious about an
engine. I did lots of research, looking for a four stroker, and
finally settled on HCI’s 65 hp radial, which I’d seen and
heard run (very briefly) at Sun-N-Fun. I contracted with Jack
Hereford to build me one and by the time they delivered it,
they had enlarged the cylinders to get 75 hp, which Graham
said was to much power. In the meantime, it turned out that
they were having trouble with vaporized fuel condensing in
the lower intake tubes and began experimenting with various ways
to resolve that problem. The result was that I got discouraged and
lost interest in the project. That coupled with going back to work
full-time cost me a bunch of construction years. I finally got back
into construction and have completed everything except covering
the two halves of the lower wing, and the fuselage, and doing the
camouflaging that I’ve spent a lot of time trying to do accurately
with th four basic greens and browns Alan Toelle has determined
to be authentic. Long Story, short point: A now-old, former F-86
Korean War fighter pilot who’s interested in punching some holes
in the air again, is grinding out completion with hopes of maybe
flying another fighter of another era! We’ll see.
I’ve always thought that Don Chihocki did the best job of
replicating Graham’s plans, and that you and Ted Callahan have
done the best jobs of replicating the experimental version.
Anyway, thanks for sending me the copy of The ‘Great’ Times,
which I enjoyed reading.
James k. Thompson
Gardner 2010 Fly-in Observations …
Bill Wonders displayed his Dh4 fuselage at Gardner. Bill trucked in from
Great fun! The Gardner, Kansas “Gathering of Eagles”, 2010 was my first
visit to Gardner and it proved to be more than anticipated. I’ve seen
photographs of past Gardner fly-ins and talked to pilots who have attended
however being there in person brought the event to life.
As a first-time attendee, I thought I’d share a few observations:
Getting ready for the event was a challenge for any pilot hauling an aircraft
to Kansas and even proved to be a work-challenge for Rick Bennett. In
addition to getting his own Nieuport packed and ready he helped Phil
Arbie complete building his Nieuport, then they built a trailer (from
scratch) to haul the finished plane to Kansas. To complete these
monumental tasks on time Rick had to kick in a twenty-eight hour/day
schedule and work non-stop … he’s like a perpetual motion machine with
an unmatched work ethic. I get tired just watching Rick work. Yes,
everything was done on time, Phil’s plane and trailer both looked great.
Fly-in preparations at the Gardner Airport also carried demands for work
and time. Marvin Story and his wife, Nancy, certainly rose to the occasion
making sure event requirements were completed and everything moved
smoothly. It was generous of Marvin to share his hanger too as it became
the meeting place for all GWAA attendees. Pilots used Marvin’s hanger
(and tools) for airplane assembly and disassembly plus the hanger came in
handy when a major rain storm hit on Saturday.
The rain storm did not disrupt activity for long and pilots were soon back
Mark Hymer’s Baslee Fokker D7 gets a close inspection from the Gardner crowd.
Butch and Rick Witlock managed the cooking for the Friday evening barbeque.
Saturday afternoon a fast moving front rolled thru Gardner and sent us all looking for our tie downs.
in the air. I’m told rain storms and high winds are common
at Gardner events. That area of Kansas records an average
wind speed of over 12 mph, that’s: AVERAGE WIND
SPEED! I observed the Kansas Dawn Patrol pilots taking
those high winds in stride … guess they’re used to it!
Marvin’s hanger also served as a dinner meeting spot on
Saturday where Butch Whitlock did an excellent job
serving as GWAA’s head-chef.
The Gardner Fly-in included a visit to the WWI Museum
in Kansas City, a visit that proved to be a terrific learning
experience. The museum was outstanding with exhibits
that were truly educational. Learning experiences also
came from the many GWAA Pilots who were willing to
share ideas on airplane construction, flying replicas, and
history about their machines in combat.
My final observation was on the GWAA Pilots.
Interesting, to me, that they all displayed the same
strength of character, the same dogged determination, and
the same excitement for flight as, I believe, pilots did in
The Great War.
I look forward to attending “The Gathering of Eagles” 2011.
What the hell was going on in this photo . . . ??? Were you crapping your pants? dickiedoo
This was the 1st year for me to visit Gardner. I've yet to fly, and yet to
build, but I've been hovering in the background for almost 2 years,
listening to the conversations, reading nearly every post. If I had any
doubt as to my fit with such a group, that vanished with the 1st
conversation. What a great group of people! On Friday, it was set-up and
staging day. I met Sharon Starks, Tom Glaeser, (the rest of the group had
run to the WWI museum), and I just wandered, getting use to these
But Saturday, I got locked into so many different conversations, I forgot
to shoot and film, hell, I bought a camera just for the event. Russ even
invited me out to Roberts to sit in his Camel... I'm not quite sure if I'm
ready to drink the koolaid yet, but you guys had me grinning from ear to
–Continued on Page 11
Phil Arbie trailered in his Baslee 7/8 scale N-23 from Ohio to display at Gardner.