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Posted by Calypso6858 | Jan 11, 2022 @ 08:21 AM | 25,073 Views
Garland-Lincoln LF-1: While WWI replicas are their own genre of airplanes these days with kits available for all sorts of them, the Garland-Lincoln started the trend long ago.

The Garland-Lincoln Nieuport replica is local to me and when I was browsing through some photos of it the other day I came across a familiar name in one of the captions, Claude Flagg. Considering I own one of Flagg’s other airplanes this caught my interest and I had to do some more research. Turns out that the name LF-1 stands for Lincoln Flagg - 1. Garland Lincoln provided airplanes for Hollywood in the 1930s and he needed some Nieuports apparently. He called on experienced designer Claude Flagg to take care of that for him.

Documentation says there were 3 LF-1s built, however I can only find any record or photos of 1 of them, N12237. The airplane was designed and built by Flagg to replicate the Nieuport 28 while offering better performance and aerobatics for the movie screens. It was initially powered by a J-4 Wright when it was completed in 1932 but spent most of its career with a 220hp Continental on it.

The LF-1 wasn’t a footnote in history either, it made quite a career for itself in its long and colorful life. It spent time as an airshow performer and racer in the hands of Kip Monè. It flew for Garland Lincoln in the movies Hell in the Heavens, Dawn Patrol and Men with Wings. It was owned by Frank Tallman when he and Paul Mantz created Tallmantz. It then performed in Get Smart, The...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Jan 06, 2022 @ 04:50 AM | 38,906 Views
Sperry M-1 Messenger: While an original Sperry hasn’t flown anytime in recent history and it’s faded from a lot of memories, in its day it was a very relevant airplane.

The Sperry Messenger first flew in 1921. A critical time for airplane development. WWI had just ended and it was clear that airplanes had a future in war. The race for aviation development was on. The Messenger hit the market with just the right recipe at just the right time. It was simplistic and cheap as well as a very good performer for its era being powered by a Lawrence 3 cylinder radial of 60hp.

The unique history of the Messenger doesn’t just stop at being a good airplane. The Military noticed and it found a home with the USAAS. The Messenger was the first airplane to ever dock on a flying airship in 1924 on a US blimp. Later it became one of the first “drones” if you care to call it that. Some messengers were modified to be radio controlled for use as “aerial torpedoes”.

The most unusual piece of Messenger history was it’s arrival at Washington DC. In 1922 Lawrence Sperry (son of the founder of Sperry Aviation) took his private Messenger to Washington DC and circled the capitol building before landing in front of it and parking his airplane at the top of the steps. He proceeded to march into the office of the Assistant Secretary of the Navy to complain about not being paid on time. He also landed his Messenger at the Lincoln Memorial. (Oddly enough this wasn’t the only time there have been...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Jan 06, 2022 @ 04:43 AM | 38,864 Views
Beriev Be-103: I don’t normally venture into 1990s airplanes and I definitely don’t normally discuss current production airplanes, but the Beriev gets an exception. The unusual looking Be-103 checks off pretty much all of the weird boxes. Firstly, it’s powered by two O-360s, but not Lycoming ones. The slightly more obscure Continental variety. Each O-360 has a reversing MT prop and they are shoulder mounted up above the fuselage. It also had a delta shaped wing which had fixed leading edge slats. The Wings act as water displacing sponsons while it’s floating and on the ground it’s supported by a short tricycle gear. Inside it’s oddly shaped fuselage is seating for 6.

The Be-103 also holds the distinction of being the only Russian produced airplane to hold an FAA normal category standard type certificate. It’s type certificate was granted during it’s highly unusual visit to Airventure in 2003. Two Be-103s were delivered to Oshkosh in an Antanov cargo jet for the FAA to inspect for certification. I remember the Be-103s being a main attraction that year since it was such an unusual sight.

The Beriev was designed in the 1990s to transport people to distant parts of Russia and Siberai on remote rivers and lakes. It’s probably one of the most advanced piston powered airplanes ever developed being built out of unusual alloys, with a full flying tail and hydrodynamics that would confuse any pilot. I’m not sure how many have been produced at this point, but there are three in...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 30, 2021 @ 08:29 PM | 57,242 Views
Martin Mars: Martin’s largest flying boat, the Mars was ordered ahead of its time but by the time it was ready for service, it was already considered outdated.

The Mars was commissioned in 1938, first flew in 1942 and was finally delivered in 1945 having been modified from a patrol bomber into a transport ship. With the end of the war, the Navy’s order for 20 was cut to only 6. After the first “Hawaii Mars” was lost in an accident, the remaining 5 were used to ferry people and supplies to Hawaii and other pacific islands. One Mars set a passenger carrying record with 269 people onboard in 1950.

After another Mars was lost to an engine fire, the remaining 4 were retired in 1956. The four airplanes were saved from the scrap heap by Forest Industries Flying Tankers in 1959. They were flown to Canada along with a large collection of spare parts to be converted into fire bombers. In 1961 another Mars crashed when it flew into a mountain. It’s suspected that the water drop failed and the airplane couldn’t climb fast enough to avoid the mountain. Only a year later yet another Mars was blown away and destroyed in a typhoon.

The two remaining Mars had their water bomber conversions completed (although in two completely different fashions with one dumping out the sides and the other dumping out the bottom of the aircraft) and entered service. They have remained operational at Sproat Lake since the 1960s entering and exiting service when necessary. In 2007 they were purchased...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 29, 2021 @ 10:12 PM | 54,118 Views
Aerocar: The first “practical” flying car, if there is such a thing, was the Aerocar. (Sometimes referred to as the Taylor Aerocar although the company was called Aerocar, it was simply designed by Taylor)

The fascination with a flying car is as hot now as it ever has been with attempts like the Terrafugia and AirCar having flown in the recent past. However the concept first lifted off in 1917 with an attempt by Glenn Curtiss. Numerous other attempts took place before and shortly after WWII. But the first one to be deemed “practical” enough to garner some attention and a possible production contract, was the Aerocar.

The Aerocar was designed by Moulton “Molt” Taylor (designer of the Taylor Coot and Aerocar IMP) and first flew in 1949. The car portion was a small pod looking automobile with a Lycoming O-320 in the back which drove the front wheels through a three speed manual transmission. In flying configuration, the car had a high wing and a long narrow fuselage with a pusher prop. The wings could be folded beside the fuselage and trailered behind or left at the airport allowing the car to drive alone. It was designed with the goal of being able to fold or unfold in 5 minutes by one person.

The unusual looking Aerocar did successfully fly and was road legal, it even achieved an FAA certification for production. However only 6 were produced in total. Vought made a deal with Taylor that if 500 orders could be acquired they would put it into production. However...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 28, 2021 @ 07:15 PM | 38,680 Views
Thruxton Jackaroo: Back onto the subject of four seat, closed cabin Tiger Moths, we have the Thruxton Jackaroo.

The Thruxton Jackaroo was built by Jackaroo Aircraft Limited. It was, as you can tell, converted from a Tiger Moth. One strange thing about the Jackaroo conversion is when it was done. The Jackaroos were built at Thruxton Aerodrome in the late 1950s. (1957-1959) They were advertised as the cheapest four seat airplane in the world.

The conversion was done in a very interesting manner. The Wings, tailfeathers, landing gear and engine all remained the same. The only thing that was modified was the fuselage which was widened to allow for four seats. The unusual thing was how the control system was configured. Unlike most four seat airplanes which have controls in the two front seats, the Jackaroo had controls for both of the LEFT seats. By simply moving the factory control system a little to the left, it retained dual controls without the need to totally redesign the control system. The doors were mounted both left and right and were long enough on each side to access both the front and rear seats making them very long and unwieldy. They could also be removed if you wanted to get a little more air.

A total of 19 were converted and a few of them were used as crop dusters but most were the standard cabin configuration. Today there are a few Jackaroos flying including one in Canada which was restored by the well known Tigerr Boys in Guelph Ontario....Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 25, 2021 @ 08:55 AM | 7,540 Views
The Christmas Bullet: Merry Christmas everyone, here’s a Christmas airplane that is Christmasy only in name.

The Christmas Bullet holds an important record, It’s one of very few airplanes to have two examples built and flown yet still never make a landing. The Bullet was nothing but a smoke and mirror show and endless lies.

The Bullet was designed by Dr. William Whitney Chirstmas. Dr. Christmas had a relatively impressive resume of aviation experience however all of it was lies. He claimed to have built two other successful airplanes although oddly they both lacked any evidence of existence.

After securing the funding and support of two wealthy brothers and the Continental Aircraft Corporation by telling them of his plans to use the airplane to kidnap the emperor of Germany, Kaiser Wilhelm II. Christmas also secured a prototype Liberty L6 engine from the Army with the premise that it would be used for ground testing only.

Eventually, two Christmas Bullets were constructed. Each was an all wood biplane design with “cantilever” wings. (which sagged just by their own weight sitting on the ground) The first had the Liberty engine and crashed on the first flight when the wings folded up killing it’s test pilot. After destroying the Army’s engine and not telling them, they built a second with a Hall-Scott L-6 engine. The chief engineer at Continental (the later well known Vincent Burnelli) tried to sway Christmas to re-engineer the design however he was ignored. The...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 25, 2021 @ 08:21 AM | 7,663 Views
De Havilland DH.83 Fox Moth: The DH.83 Fox moth was essentially a unique variant of the Tiger Moth. It used the same wings, engine, and tail feathers but exchanged the fuselage with tandem seating for two for a new passenger fuselage. The new fuselage had a single cockpit which was raised up above and behind a small cabin for three.

The Fox Moth was test flown in 1932 and subsequently went into production and commercial operation. They were mostly used for rides or for short trips to bring people to larger commercial flights. The Fox Moth was reported to be the first airplane to haul passengers and actually make a profit without the support of a government.

153 Fox Moths were produced and they were used in at least 14 countries in both civilian and military roles. Most significantly the air forces in Australia, New Zealand and Canada used somewhat large numbers of Fox Moths.

The “Speed” Fox Moth had wheel pants and a sliding canopy over the pilot. Japan also copied the Fox Moth and called it the Gasuden KR-1 or the KR-2 with modified wings and a radial engine.

Today there’s a fair number of Fox Moths surviving and flying in England, Australia, New Zealand and Canada....Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 23, 2021 @ 08:48 PM | 10,064 Views
Fairchild FC-1, FC-2 and 71: I’m going to try to pack a lot of history into one segment, but here goes.

The Fairchild 71 started life as the FC-1 which was Fairchild’s first airplane design. It was designed to operate for Fairchild Aerial Survey as a camera host but proved to be commercially viable enough to become Fairchild’s main business. It initially was powered by a 90hp Curtiss OX-5 V-8 and carried a pilot and up to 2 passengers. It must not have been a particularly incredible performer with the OX-5 because by the end of the design it had 420hp.

The FC-1 was flown successfully on the Ford Air Tour in 1926 but when it returned home it was fitted with a 200hp Wright J4 engine and was modified to carry more passengers. The eventual production version was designated the FC-2 and was Fairchild’s first certified design. The FC-2s were powered by various engines including the Wright J-5, Curtiss Challenger, Armstrong-Siddeley Lynx, 300hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp JR., and the Wright J-6. A total of at least 180 FC-2s were sold including one being sold to NACA (now NASA) as their very first airplane.

The Fairchild 71 was essentially a cleaned up and slightly enlarged version of the FC-2. The (folding) wings were lengthened slightly to 50 feet and the cabin was expanded to eventually seat as many as 8 people. (counting the pilot) Up front the 71 had a 420hp Pratt & Whitney Wasp. The airplane also received an overall “tidying-up” namely more streamlining and a...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 23, 2021 @ 08:40 PM | 9,848 Views
Kreider-Reisner KR-21: The KR-21 was the third and last of the Kreider-Reisner commercial biplanes and was vastly different from it’s earlier brethren.

The KR-21 was brought about by the increasing popularity of slightly smaller biplanes like the Great Lakes and Fleets. The KR-21 was intended to be slightly smaller and more sporty than the KR-34 and had one less seat.

The KR-21 shared essentially no parts with the KR-34 and was definitely a clean sheet design. It had tapered wings with four ailerons for a high roll rate. It had a significant separation between the wings to allow as little interference between the wings as possible. But most of all, it was built to be as strong as possible. The KR-21 was intended to hold up against hard aerobatics and tough training conditions.

The KR-21 also used a new power plant for Kreider-Reisner, (by this time owned by Fairchild) it was powered with a Kinner 5 cylinder radial. The prototype used a Warner, however all of the production airplanes used some variant of Kinner.

The KR-21 was reported to be a pleasant airplane to fly and was easy to land 9 out of 10 landings. However a pilots report from the era said that on every 10th landing, the airplane would do something completely unpredictable.

Interestingly, it somehow came to be reported that only 5 KR-21s were produced. While this can be seen in a few not-so-well-researched publications, this is completely false. At least 27 were registered on public records. (in...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 22, 2021 @ 01:24 AM | 12,192 Views
Kreider-Reisner KR-34: The KR-34 was the natural progression of the KR-31 and featured numerous updates to the design.

The KR-34 which came in short order after the KR-31 exchanged the OX-5 for various radial engines. The landing gear shifted from a single straight axle type gear to a split axle design with rubber bushing suspension. The wings were altered slightly and instead of having ailerons on all four wings, it had longer ailerons on the lower wing only.

The first power plant of the KR-34 was the 115hp and eventually 130hp “Comet” radial. However it later used the more common Wright J-6-5 and Curtiss Challenger radials. Each of the radials proved to have good performance for the fairly lightweight biplane. It also was purported to have docile but desirable flying characteristics.

The KR-34 didn’t have as high of a production run as the KR-31 however it did garner some military use. The KR-34CA exchanged the front seat for two forward firing Browning 30 caliber machine guns and the two which were sold to China also had bomb racks on the belly.

When the Kreider-Reisner company was sold to Fairchild it was renamed the Fairchild KR-31 but continued production. In total 69 were built and today a very small handful are still around with at least one being actively flown....Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 21, 2021 @ 01:28 PM | 11,357 Views
Kreider-Reisner KR-31: In the 1920s and 1930s the 3 seat OX-5 powered comercial biplane category was very full. Among the entries into the category was the Kreider-Reisner KR-31 C-2 “Challenger”.

In the early 1920s Kreider-Reisner had been operating a flying service with early Waco Biplanes but in 1926 they decided to start designing their own airplanes. After some success with a “Midget” racer, Kreider-Reisner designed their first commercial biplane. The KR-31 looks very similar to the Waco 10 or GXE, however it is distinctly it’s own airplane.

In 1927 Amos Kreider performed a very admirable series of flights in a KR-31 taking it from New York to Los Angeles in a bid to raise awareness for the airplane. Since KR had been operating a flying service they knew just what a biplane of this sort would need to do and it performed like it.

The KR-31 started selling well as it gained awareness and KR tried a few modifications out on it. The most unusual of which was the addition of the very rare Caminez 4 cylinder radial engine on one prototype. Another prototype used a Warner Scarab 7 cylinder radial. But the vast majority of KR-31s maintained their OX-5 powerplant and did perfectly well with them.

The production run of 167 airplanes was quite large given the era and the type of aircraft. By 1929 the Kreider-Reisner company was purchased by Fairchild and began down a new road. Today there are a handful of KR-31s which remain airworthy despite being nearly 100 years old...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 20, 2021 @ 12:16 AM | 12,919 Views
Ryan ST: I know the Ryan ST isn’t exactly an obscure airplane, but everyone likes them so I figured nobody would mind.

“Ryan” was re-started as an aviation company in 1933 and their first design was the Ryan ST or “Sport Trainer.” The ST was designed by T Claude Ryan, Millard Boyd and Will Vandermeer. While the design is pretty well renowned as one of the most beautiful aircraft designs, that was no accident. Ryan specifically set out to finish the design as a beautiful airplane in hopes that it would help sales.

The airplane quickly racked up a reputation for being a nice flyer and Tex Rankin proved it in 1935 by winning the National Aerobatic Championship in an ST-A. (Sport Trainer - Aerobatic) After the ST-A came several more models.

One of the more significant variations was the STM which was developed for military use and actually housed two machine guns. The guns were mounted in pods just outside the prop arc on the wings. Today there are two surviving STMs with their gun pods, one of which is on display at the EAA museum in Oshkosh Wisconsin. (however for some reason it is typically displayed without it’s gun pods despite the fact that they do have them) The 22 STMs were delivered to South American militaries and used for gun training.

Many of the surviving STs are STM-2s or STM-S2s which were built for the Dutch East Indies. (Netherland East Indies) Of the 108 STs delivered there, 13 were the STM-S2s which were equipped with floats.

While the Ryan...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 17, 2021 @ 12:15 AM | 8,373 Views
Fairchild 22: While it’s name would suggest that it’s a Fairchild, the Model 22-C7 was actually designed by Kreider-Reisner before the two companies merged in 1929.

The parasol Model 22 made its first flight in 1931 behind an english Armstrong Siddeley Genet radial of 80hp. The first production airplanes switched to a smaller and lighter 75hp Michigan Rover inline four of 75hp. But with it’s third engine, the Fairchild 22 finally found it’s stride. The first large batch of 22s were pulled along by a 95hp Cirrus Hi-Drive inline.

The Cirrus Fairchild 22s were an admirably performing airplane for their era and also sported favorable flying characteristics. With full span ailerons, they had a somewhat sporty feel but the long travel, soft landing gear made them docile in ground handling.

As production continued, Fairchild added engines of increasing power. The 125hp Menasco Pirate came next, followed by the 90hp Wright Gypsy, 125hp and finally 145hp Warners. A unique variant eventually arrived with the C7G being certified for aerobatics with a modified wing and ailerons. Unfortunately only 6 C7Gs were built.

The flying characteristics must have been desirable as a test bed, because the Colombian Air Force ordered a few. And eventually so did the US. NACA (now NASA) used four 22s to test various wing and aileron designs. One was even modified to be a low wing.

The forgiving nature of the 22 has allowed for a fairly good survival rate. Of the 127 built, quite a...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 15, 2021 @ 05:14 PM | 6,620 Views
Stinson L-1: The very first official “Liaison” airplane ordered by the USAAC, the L-1 was a little out of the ordinary for Stinosn.

At the Cleveland Air Races just prior to WWII the Germans brought over a few airplanes to show off. Instead of showing off their fastest airplanes which could have dusted just about everything racing there that year, they went the opposite route. They demonstrated a Fiesler Storch flying slower than anything most of the crowd had seen.

Not one to be shown up, the USAAC issued a design competition in 1938. The requirements were specifically intended to match or beat the performances of the Storch. The competition had three notable entrants all of which had respectable performances. The entrants were given the designations YO-49 (Stinson), YO-50 (Bellanca) and YO-51 (Ryan Dragonfly).

The Stinson eventually won the contract and was ordered in large (at the time) numbers. The key to the Stinson’s performance was it’s high power to weight ratio (again, for the time) provided by a 295hp Lycoming R-680. This combined with all of it’s clever aerodynamic trickery was it’s secret to success. The Stinson had full span, aerodynamically deployed leading edge slats built by Handley-Page. On the back of the wing were large stainless steel flaps and long ailerons which could droop to add to the flap area. To match the high angle of attack, low speed landing, the Stinson had a long stroke articulating landing gear to absorb heavy shocks. Although some...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 14, 2021 @ 04:05 PM | 8,334 Views
Boeing P-26 “Peashooter”: The P-26 might not be the most commonly known warbird on the circuit these days. Likely due to the fact that there’s only one place where you’ll see one fly these days. However, it does pack a bunch of historical achievements into one airplane.

The P-26 represented the in-between stage of biplane fighters and the typical retractable gear high performance fighters that were used during WWII. It was the first monoplane “pursuit” airplane to enter service with the US military. It also held the distinction of being the first all metal fighter.

The P-26’s prototype first flew in 1932 and with some light tweaks it officially entered service in 1933. The Army received over 100 “Peashooters” and they were flown extensively throughout 22 different squadrons.

While the P-26 was exceptionally advanced in 1932, it was almost immediately rendered obsolete. By 1935 the Curtiss P-36 and Seversky P-35 had both been flown and the open cockpit, fixed gear, wire braced P-26 was way outclassed. The US began replacing the P-26s in 1938 with their new closed cockpit, cantilever wing, retractable gear fighters.

While the P-26 wasn’t shooting down any advanced fighters for the US, it did get to see some action. P-26s were sold to China, Guatemala, Spain and the Philippines. In 1937 Chinese P-26s became the first to shoot down japanese bombers and later continued to shoot down Mitsubishi A5M Claude fighters. The P-26 conflicts with Japan represented the...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 13, 2021 @ 03:41 AM | 8,241 Views
Rose Parrakeet: The Rose Parrakeet (spelled Parrakeet by the designer and Parakeet by the FAA) was a tiny “aerobatic” biplane designed in 1931.

Jack Rose built his prototype Parrakeet in with a Heath-Henderson converted motorcycle engine for power but unsurprisingly, it proved to be underpowered. It was eventually given an A40 for more power. Not something you hear very often considering how few airplane engines make less than 37hp. The Prototype was fairly different from later Parrakeets as it was the only one which was wire braced. What happened to the prototype is unknown, although it has been said that it wound up hauling booze during prohibition. (probably not very much booze though considering it’s hauling capacity)

The Later Parrakeets were slightly more standardized. They had a conventional steel tube fuselage with wooden wings but instead of wire bracing used a single diagonal strut. The initial “production” of 7 airplanes were powered with a variety of small engines, none making more than 60hp. However in the 1970s, Doug Rhinehard revived the design by building 5 more under license. These five were built with Continental O-200s of 100hp.

While there were technically only 14 Rose Parrakeets produced, there have been many more than those 14 flown. The Parrakeet has been a popular homebuilt with a couple of different sets of plans being published for it. Most were powered with an A-65 or C-85 continental, however there have been several variations in power...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 10, 2021 @ 05:18 PM | 10,216 Views
Hawker Cygnet: When you think of Hawker you might think of airplanes like the Hurricane or the Hunter. The Cygnet however, probably couldn’t be any farther from Hawker’s famous fighters. A tiny two cylinder biplane that weighed only 370lbs, the Cygnet was one of Hawker’s more diminutive designs.

The Cygnet was designed to compete in a lightplane competition held by the Royal Aero Club in 1924. The competition, known as the Lympne Trials, was an unusual but very clever competition which resulted in the design of several extremely cute lightplanes like the Bristol Brownie and the Westland Woodpigeon. Entrants had to be a two seat airplane with full dual controls. They were limited to an engine size of 1100cc. And competitors would have to fold or remove the wings with a team of only two people and prove that it could be stored in a small shed. Afterwards they would be required to reassemble the airplane and fly it with a load of 340lbs onboard around a figure eight course once from each cockpit.

The Cygnet project was headed up by Hawker designer Sydney Camm. Like many English lightplanes at the time, the Cygnet was built much like a glider. It used all wood construction, including the fuselage and was covered with a lightweight fabric. Two Cygnets were built for the competition, one powered with a two cylinder ABC Scorpion and one with a two cylinder Anzani. The two airplanes took third and fourth in the Lympne competition. Afterwards, they each received a new Bristol...Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 06, 2021 @ 06:43 PM | 43,367 Views
Savoia-Marchetti S.56: The S.56 was a classy little Italian amphibian from the 1920s. It was developed in the early 20s as a seaplane trainer and touring airplane. It’s unusual cockpit configuration had seats for two up front with side by side controls and a third seat in a separate cockpit behind with no controls.

Initially it was pulled along by a 70hp Anzani but it was soon replaced by a 80hp version and had its wings lengthened. Throughout its production it received larger and larger radials up to 135hp. The engine was mounted on a nacelle which hung below the bottom of the top wing almost directly above the occupants.

Interestingly the S.56 was fairly popular in the US market. In 1929 AAC (American Aeronautical Corporation) began producing the airplane under license. The US version was powered with a 90hp Kinner and spawned another stranger variant. The Budd Company (an industrial company) decided to build one entirely out of stainless steel. The Budd Pioneer as it was named, proved to be a successful airplane. Successful in that it did fly and float. Not so much in production as it was the only one built.

In total there were around 70 of them built with the majority of them being American built. Today I believe there are two surviving examples with one being in a museum in Italy and one at Fantasy of Flight in Florida....Continue Reading
Posted by Calypso6858 | Dec 05, 2021 @ 09:39 AM | 53,508 Views
Arrow Sport F & M: The Arrow Sport began life as the Model F. F being for the Ford which powered it. The Bureau of Air Commerce wanted to research the viability of converted car engines and Arrow was up to the task.

The initial design was a two seat side-by-side, strut braced low wing configuration with an 85hp Ford V-8 power plant. The design was tweaked with larger tail feathers and the center portion of the wing was narrowed to avoid blocking airflow to the tail during landing. The resulting prototype airplane was certified for production, a rarity for converted car engines.

The Ford which powered the airplane was a typical flathead Ford V-8 with some parts replaced with aluminum for weight savings. The engine housed a 2:1 Gearbox on the front and swung a large slow turning sensenich wood propeller. All together the engine and gearbox weighed over 400lbs and only produced 85hp. Compared to an equivalent 85hp Continental which weighs less than 200lbs, the Arrow Sport was far from a high performance airplane.

The Model F was marketed for sale at a modest $1500 and saw a surprising interest considering its performance limitations. It could be ordered as an open or closed cockpit and near the end of its production run it could be ordered as the “Arrow Sport M” which had a 125hp Menasco instead of the Ford. In total 103 made it off the production line. Today there is one Arrow Sport M surviving in private ownership and at least half a dozen surviving Fs in various...Continue Reading