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Old Aug 15, 2011, 11:58 AM
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Callair A-3 Kenneth Arnold's UFO Chaser

There is a small Callair aircraft museum in Afton WY where they have a display recalling Kenneth Arnold's flight in his Callair monoplane near Mt
Rainer in which he sighted a flock of UFO's and coined the term, "flying saucers"

There is quite a lot of info that can be Googled about the history of Callair aircraft that were designed to perform well at high altitudes. The unusual nose and cabin design of the A-2 and A-3 series gave good forward visibility on the ground and it was a forgiving, easy to fly plane. T'would make a nice lightweight park flyer design subject. See Pics
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 01:13 PM
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that's an interesting airplane. The registration number on the yellow plane is only one off from what Arnold's plane was - just looking and a website with his account said the number was 33355. Can't tell what color it was, but it did have the lightning bolt on the side. It looked darker in the B/W photo than a yellow or bright color, like maybe blue? It looks like that plane may now be located in Florida.
So, will you be drafting up some plans, or are there some good 3 views you found?

I think his drawings of the flying wings he saw would make a good/interesting model too, to go with this plane, but there are many foamy designs not all that different.

and, here's a link with a nice photo of Arnold and his Callair - definitely a dark color overall with light color bolt.
http://www.martinshough.com/aerialph...0analysis2.pdf
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 05:03 PM
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I'll leave design to somebody else. I have too many interesting vintage kits in the shed. Haven't seen any good 3-views on the net,
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Old Aug 15, 2011, 08:52 PM
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well I'll keep trying to see what I can find for a drawing.
Too bad you didn't post this sooner - I could have put a bid on Kenneth Arnold's original CallAir when it went up for sale in Florida not long ago. I saw it was stripped down of its covering when sold I think.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 03:57 PM
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Just as a bit of history, Ken Arnold (my uncle) owned several CallAirs and sold them as a sideline business. The one he saw the famous flying saucers in was crashed in New Mexico, I think, and the registration returned to the FAA. There is another CallAir around that has that registration but it never was his. The story of the crashed aircraft was related to me by him personally as he was recovering from injuries from the event.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by jonquinn View Post
well I'll keep trying to see what I can find for a drawing.
Too bad you didn't post this sooner - I could have put a bid on Kenneth Arnold's original CallAir when it went up for sale in Florida not long ago. I saw it was stripped down of its covering when sold I think.
The first place I would look for plans is "Cleveland Model & Supply" Plans. They may still be around.
I just checked, no dice, sorry.
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Old Dec 20, 2013, 07:44 PM
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I have searched all over the web for drawings, even contacted a museum in Wyoming that has several Call-Air on display. But never got a reply from anyone there.
There are lots of good photos, including Kenneth Arnold's UFO plane (which had the same N number as the one mentioned for sale a few years ago - it may have been rebuilt, with a small production run like these I can't see the FAA reassigning another A3 the same N number).
I know there used to be an old DOS program sold by the old owners of WW I Aeroplane, that would take a scan of an airplane photo and convert that into a 3-view drawing. but any new software that can take a series of photos and transfer the disappearing lines is too expensive for maybe one use. I cannot recall what this technique was called - photogrammetry perhaps?. I have even seen some articles in very old issues of MAN from the late 30s or 40s that described how to do this by hand drafting methods.
I have also read that the Call-Air wings and maybe parts of the fuselage were heavily influenced, if not exactly the same as the Kinner Sportster.
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Old Feb 03, 2014, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Arnold View Post
Just as a bit of history, Ken Arnold (my uncle) owned several CallAirs and sold them as a sideline business. The one he saw the famous flying saucers in was crashed in New Mexico, I think, and the registration returned to the FAA. There is another CallAir around that has that registration but it never was his. The story of the crashed aircraft was related to me by him personally as he was recovering from injuries from the event.

I have been able to aquire a set of general arrangement (3-view) drawings of the A-3. I also have some photos of a stripped down A-3 airframe that will be helpful. So soon I will try to draw up a set of plans for this plane, somewhere in the 42-48" ws range. This will be a first for me so I have no idea how long it will take. I will probably use sketchup so that I can also use it to create cut files for my phlatprinter 3. Construction will be primarily balsa. It looks like the only difference between the A-2 and A-3 was a Lycoming and Continental engine, respectively. So there was maybe a minor difference on the cowl and any carb inlet or location of exhaust stacks.

Tom, would you have any photos of your uncle's airplanes you would be willing to scan, and maybe remember anything if he told you about the colors?
I am guessing the the one pictured below may be the one he was flying when he spotted the UFOs, N33355. It says its an It is obviously a dark color fuselage with a lighter lightning bolt and wings. My guess is blue and yellow, but red was also a popular color for GA airplanes back then. I won't be out to create a scale masters grade model, since there isn't much published on this airplane, but would at least get it in the ball park.
The actual plane N33355 is located in Skagit WA and is painted red and silver.
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Old Feb 04, 2014, 03:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonquinn View Post
I have been able to aquire a set of general arrangement (3-view) drawings of the A-3. I also have some photos of a stripped down A-3 airframe that will be helpful. So soon I will try to draw up a set of plans for this plane, somewhere in the 42-48" ws range. This will be a first for me so I have no idea how long it will take. I will probably use sketchup so that I can also use it to create cut files for my phlatprinter 3. Construction will be primarily balsa. It looks like the only difference between the A-2 and A-3 was a Lycoming and Continental engine, respectively. So there was maybe a minor difference on the cowl and any carb inlet or location of exhaust stacks.

Tom, would you have any photos of your uncle's airplanes you would be willing to scan, and maybe remember anything if he told you about the colors?
I am guessing the the one pictured below may be the one he was flying when he spotted the UFOs, N33355. It says its an It is obviously a dark color fuselage with a lighter lightning bolt and wings. My guess is blue and yellow, but red was also a popular color for GA airplanes back then. I won't be out to create a scale masters grade model, since there isn't much published on this airplane, but would at least get it in the ball park.
The actual plane N33355 is located in Skagit WA and is painted red and silver.
If the B&W photo was shot with orthochromatic film, the darker color is likely red, as such film is insensitive to that color. Ortho film was particularly sensitive to blue, so that would show up as a lighter color. As well, I seem to recall that yellow showed up quite dark on orthochromatic film.

James
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Old Feb 04, 2014, 05:43 PM
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Thanks, I was hoping someone might be able to interpret the photo. I thought that it might be possible to infer some color data from old black and white prints, especially when there are objects of known color in them.
Maybe the wings and lightening bolt are silver doped? The rebuilt plane is so maybe that's the best way to go.
Its a nice combination anyways.
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Old Nov 19, 2014, 11:13 PM
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jonquinn, my apologies for not responding months ago but I don't often go on this site (I am a scale free flight modeler, though). To answer your question about colors, my uncle owned several CallAirs but the only one I saw (and flew in with him) had a deep emerald green fuselage, white wings and white vertical and horizontal tail surfaces. He eventually made the vertical tail black and white checkerboard. The cowl was natural aluminum. In the photo displayed I would bet that dark color is a red or maroon as that was a common color of Callairs then. While I am in touch with my cousins (his daughters) they were not born when he made his famous flight and would not be any help. By the way, I have never been able to find any 3 views of the aircraft as, I too, wanted to build a free flight model of it.

Should you want to talk about the plane a bit more, and since I seldom check this site, please give me a call. Look me up in the phone directory and I am the tom arnold on Ridgecrest Dr. in Casper WY.
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Old Nov 20, 2014, 07:38 AM
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Thank you. That is good information and will be helpful in my scratch build.
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