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Dec 02, 2021, 10:33 PM
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Obscure Airplane Highlight of the Day : Hayden Clark Timebuilder

Hayden-Clark Timebuilder: I canít believe I havenít done a writeup on this airplane considering I own it, but I realized somehow Iíve passed over it.

The Hayden-Clark was built in 1931 in Visalia California. It was put together by a shop teacher and one of his students at the Visalia airport. I believe they had the wreckage of a Jenny as the entire instrument panel was out of a Jenny and quite a few fittings and other bits were Jenny as well. Somehow they managed to get their hands on a brand new Salmson AD9 radial to power it. They completed the airplane and it was test flown by Sol Sweet who was a well known pilot in the area and was the founder of the Visalia airport.

Sol reported that the airplane had lovely flying characteristics and that it would recover from a spin hands free. Amazingly, the builders managed to get the Hayden certified through the CAA group 2 approvals. They got started on building two more of them, this time with two seats, but they were never completed. Which makes the Hayden-Clark a very rare breed of one-off certified airplanes.

With the depression in full swing, there was no money to back the building of more airplanes so the only airworthy airplane was sold off. Pansy Bowen, a rare woman pilot in the 1930s purchased the airplane. She was cited in a registry at the Clover field in Santa Monica California stating she was on the way to Cleveland with the airplane. Whether she made it to Cleveland or not, I donít know. But eventually the airplane changed hands and ended up on a farm near Turlock CA where it lived for quite a few years.

After bouncing through homes in St. Helena and Napa California, the airplane eventually ended up somewhere in Arizona. The new owner was convinced he would use the airplane for aerobatics. He converted it to cub wheels and brakes and a 65hp Continental. When the airplane undoubtedly proved to be a poor aerobatic ship he set about rebuilding the wing with a new airfoil. Thankfully he never finished it. It bounced around a lot and I acquired the very complete project a few years back. Iíve been very, very, very slowly restoring it ever since.
Last edited by Calypso6858; Dec 03, 2021 at 01:48 AM.
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