It's So Old!

But it still smells fresh.

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With all this old stuff sticking around, you have to wonder how we keep it smelling so fresh.  Ha!  I've got quite the secret up my sleeve.

You see, my wonderful wife makes candles.  Not just any candles, but soy candles.  Highly scented, and at a price anybody can afford.  Even me.

So, cruise on over to Skyline Candle Company, and pick yourself up a candle or twelve.  I recommend the Waterfall Mist.  Smells so good.  Way better than all these moldy old headlines.

FMI: Skyline Candle Co.

Taildraggers, Inc. - Tricycles are for babies. - www.taildraggersinc.com

Taildraggers, Inc. Archives - January 2010

These are our top stories and links from January 2010.  They're still cool, but we gotta keep the home page clean and quick to load!  Enjoy the Archives!

And as always, if you have a link or photo to share, we'd love to hear about it, and hopefully add it to the site.  We are also looking for guest writers and photographers to submit content.  If you would like to write an article or a photo essay, shoot us an email.  We won't pay you (we don't even pay ourselves), but we will give you full credit for any contributions.

Drop us a line anytime: webmaster@taildraggersinc.com


Dave Binkley Monocoupe 110 NC12350The Restoration of NC12350

There are few airplanes that capture the true adventure and romance of the Golden Age of aviation like the Monocoupe.  With it's radial engine, sleek lines, and aggressive look on the ground, the Monocoupe is a true classic.

Many of today's pilots fear the Monocoupe as fire-breathing tail-twisting beast, but there still lives a group of people who respect the airplane for it's unique heritage and racing prowess.

One of those people is Dave Brinkley of Sedona, AZ.  He is currently in the process of restoring NC12350, a 1932 Monocoupe 110.  His airplane has a very interesting history in that it was raced in the over 60 events in Dave Binkley Monocoupe 110 NC12350the early 1930's by Tony Little, and was flown on numerous occasions by Charles Lindbergh.

Dave's website details the restoration of NC12350.  The airplane has required many new assemblies to be built from scratch, using the originals as templates.  So many of the original parts were either damaged beyond repair, or completely rotted that they had to be replaced  The workmanship and creativity on this project is inspiring.

With a wealth of information from the airplane's early history, this is more than just a photo gallery.  Dave has
included pages on Monocoupe history, specifications, racing legacy, and more.  To learn more about the Monocoupe 110, or just surf through the restoration photos, surf on over to Dave's website.
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Taildraggers, Inc. ForumsTaildraggers, Inc. Tip of the Day:

Join the Taildraggers, Inc. Forums!

We've added a Forum to the Taildraggers, Inc. website.  It's completely free to register and use.  As a registered user, you can post new topics, reply to existing topics, and communicate with other users via email and private message. 



Taildraggers, Inc. Forums
We've got Forums for Hangar Flying, Upcoming Events, Aircraft Construction and Maintenance, Projects, and a completely free For Sale / Wanted section.

The Forums are for you to use, and they depend on you for their growth and content.  You can navigate to the Forums by clicking on the "Forum" tab at the top of this page, or by clicking on the "Discuss this in the Taildraggers, Inc. Forum link at the bottom of each daily update.

Take a minute to register, and become a member of the Taildraggers, Inc. community.  Once you do, post a new thread telling us a little bit about yourself on the New Members area.
We're glad to have you.
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Ercoupe TaildraggerFile This Under "WTF?"

Alright, before you start writing hate letters about how I need to clean up my potty mouth, look at the photo.  Okay, now do you see why I'm flabbergasted?  Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, what you're looking at is an Ercoupe with the "nosewheel delete" option.

I've often wondered what a 'Coupe would look like with the undercarriage arranged in the proper configuration.  I no longer need to wonder, and either do you.  According to the FAA, this is a "Nix Baby Beech 18" manufactured by Tommy H. Nix of Guin, Alabama in 1991, S/N 1 (go figure).  If you've ever wondered if you could get your Ercoupe taildragger registered in the Experimental / Amateur Built category, you're in luck.  That appears to be exactly what Mr. Nix did.

There are more photos of this beast in the FORUM, including a nice, albeit small, color photo.

I've got to say, this is about the coolest Ercoupe I've ever seen.  It's almost as cool as the JATO Ercoupe
(click here to see the videos of that in action!).
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The Red Sparrows

Ha!  You've heard of The Red Arrows (Royal Air Force Aerobatic Team)...  Well, here are The Red Sparrows!  This was sent along by Jim Lagowski over on the Matronics Pietenpol forum.  Jim found this little jewel on YouTube.  Nobody seems to know who made this video, but it's obviously from a UK comedy show.

From the YouTube description:
"The Red Sparrows is a piss take with a bunch of English Firemen in little planes perform death defying stunts with less than realistic props, what a laugh!"

Enjoy your daily dose of Aerotainment, brought to you courtesy of Taildraggers, Inc.
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Vintage Aeronca Champ AdVintage Advertisements

So I found out about this website called Vintage Ad Browser.  It's like the Google of old advertisements.  You can choose a category (Airlines and Aircraft, for example), or you can search by keyword.  I spent about two hours just clicking through the multitude of cool old ads.

Here's one of the one that I really liked.  It's from Aeronca for the Champ.  I wish I could read the date, but the scan isn't clear enough.  I just laughed when I read the headline, "So Easy...  A YOUTH OF 16 CAN FLY AERONCA!"

"So Safe... So Simple...  Now ANYBODY CAN FLY AERONCA!"

The website has some good features, including links to eBay so you can purchase your own magazine sized copy of your favorite ads.  Their aviation ads run from the early 1900's all the way through modern years.  If you've got some time to kill, why not surf on over to the Vintage Ad Browser website and look up some cool old advertisements.  I'm sure there's something there for everyone to enjoy.  You gotta love all things vintage, especially when it comes to aviation.
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Pilot Cam: Skip Stewart at the 2009 Blue Angels Homecoming in Pensacola, FL

Skip Stewart is, in my opinion, one of the best airshow performers on the circuit today.  His display is loud, fast, and heart-stopping.  As great as it is to watch an airshow in person, it's also a lot of fun to watch the videos.  Most videos just follow the airplane around, and you don't really get the full sensation of how wild the routine truly is.  This video is different.  This is the pilot's point of view.

One warning.  This video is not for people who get motion sickness.

To learn more about Skip Stewart, visit his website, Skip Stewart Airshows.
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Pilot DepressionNo Comment

It's not secret that it costs a small fortune to earn a pilot's license.  More important than that, the freedom to fly for so many of us is the most valuable freedom we have.  To lose that freedom for any reason would be absolutely devastating.  I rarely go a single day without thinking about flying, airplanes, or something aviation related.  I've loved flying and aviation for as long as I can remember.  The thought of losing my ability to take to the skies brings on a fear which is overwhelming.  If we suffer from any medical, physical, or emotional issues that the FAA deems unacceptable, our privilege to fly can be revoked immediately.  For so many people suffering from depression, flying is the one thing in their lives that they can control, where they feel complete.  It is the thing that brings them absolute joy.  It is their therapy.

The image here was submitted to a website called Post Secret.  The purpose is to give people the opportunity to anonymously share a secret they have never spoken to anyone ever before.  For most people, this is a form a catharsis.  It helps them to cope.  For those reading the secrets, it helps them to understand that they are not alone.

I am posting this image here to remind us all that our freedoms are fragile, and extremely valuable.  We need to remember to take care of ourselves to protect our cherished freedom to fly, and to never let anything stand in the way of our passion for flight.
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Fly-In BBQ: The Pik N Pig in Carthage, NC (5NC3)

If you're looking for a place to eat, and are tired of the usual $100 hamburger, check out the Pik N Pig restaurant in Carthage, NC.  Located on Gilliam - McConnell Airfield (5NC3), you can land on the 2538' paved runway and taxi right up for a meal.  I haven't been yet, but will definitely be stopping in for some delicious North Carolina barbeque this spring!

This video is from Raleigh's WRAL news.
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Vintage Video: Bob Hoover in the Shrike Commander

Bob Hoover is one of the most recognized names in the airshow industry.  His routine in the Shrike Commander earned him international fame.  Hoover demonstrated the technique of energy management as he flew an aerobatic sequence in the twin-engine business aircraft with both engines shut down.

Not only is Hoover a well-known airshow performer, he is also a veteran of World War II, having been shot down off the coast of Southern France in a Spitfire.  He escaped a German prison camp and after the war served as Chuck Yeager's backup pilot for the Bell X-1 program.  To learn more about Bob Hoover, check out this Wikipedia page.

Oh, and I'm very well aware that the Shrike Commander ain't a taildragger.  But watching Bob Hoover fly it is too cool not to share.
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AEROBATICS!!!

Adam Cope offers flight training in a Super Decathlon, and specializes in aerobatic and unusual attitude instruction, as well as spin training, and aerobatic competition training.  He's based in the "most secure airspace in the country" inside the Washington, DC FRZ at Potomac Airfield (VKX).

This video shows Adam putting the Super Decathlon through it's paces flying the 2010 Sportsman Known sequence.  He has also uploaded videos of the Basic and Intermediate knowns on YouTube.

If you want to learn more about Adam, visit his website, DCAerobatics.  If you want to learn more about aerobatics, visit the IAC.
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Earl Luce - 1947 Wittman Big XYoung Eagles in 1947 - The Wittman Big-X

Earl Luce from LuceAir was fortunate enough to have these two photographs sent to him.  Earl has built a  Wittman Tailwind, and a replica of Steve Wittman's Buttercup.  Earl's company, LuceAir, sells plans and parts for the Buttercup to builders all over the world.

Well, as the story goes, Fay Spears from California was surfing the internet and found the LuceAir website.  She thought she recognized the Buttercup, and sent Earl these two photos. 


Earl Luce - 1947 Wittman Big X
She says that they were taken back in 1947 after the two young children were taken for rides by Johnny Kubiak.  Now, I wasn't around back in 1947, but I have read that passengers in a homebuilt was a no-no back then.  Well, CAA, what do you think about this!?

The plane in the photos isn't a Buttercup, it's a Big-X.  Similar in overall design and appearance to the Tailwind, it is a 4-place airplane.  Note the use of the spring steel landing gear, another of Steve Wittman's contributions to aviation.  Thank you, Steve.
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Steen Skybolt N66FWTaildraggers, Inc. Photo Gallery:

The Rebuild of Steen Skybolt N66FW

Six Six Fox Whiskey was built in the late 1970's.  She suffered a little damage during a landing incident and had to have a little surgery.  The boys in the ER did a swell job of patching her back together.  A little oxy-acetylene here, a little dope there, and she was better than new.

Click HERE to see the full collection of photos from the rebuild, through to some great flying photos.

When you're all done gawking at the photos of N66FW, stroll on over to the Taildraggers, Inc. Gallery page, and enjoy some of our other photos.  They're free for the viewing!  If you have a few photos of your own you'd like to share, why not post them in the Forums?  Just like everything else here, the Forums are free to use! 
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Taildraggers, Inc. ForumsTaildraggers, Inc. Tip of the Day:

Join the Taildraggers, Inc. Forums!

We've added a Forum to the Taildraggers, Inc. website.  It's completely free to register and use.  As a registered user, you can post new topics, reply to existing topics, and communicate with other users via email and private message. 



Taildraggers, Inc. Forums
We've got Forums for Hangar Flying, Upcoming Events, Aircraft Construction and Maintenance, Projects, and a completely free For Sale / Wanted section.

The Forums are for you to use, and they depend on you for their growth and content.  You can navigate to the Forums by clicking on the "Forum" tab at the top of this page, or by clicking on the "Discuss this in the Taildraggers, Inc. Forum link at the bottom of each daily updaate.

Take a minute to register, and become a member of the Taildraggers, Inc. community.  Once you do, post a new thread telling us a little bit about yourself on the New Members area.
We're glad to have you.
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Poor Greg Swingle must never sleep.  I mean, how can one guy put out so many great flying videos, and still have time for flying?

This is called "The 2010 Ski Ball", which tells us it's not only fresh, but it must've snowed in Ohio.

Once you're done watching this video, cruise on over to Vimeo and watch the rest of Greg's videos. When you're finished there, go to the Ohio Bush Planes website and buy a DVD so you can watch 'em on the big screen.
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Christmas Tree Rocketry: The Art and Science of Holiday Recycling

A little post-holiday cheer from YouTube.  And I quote,

"The Christmas holiday is one of the most difficult times of the year to stay 'green,' but rocket launching our Christmas tree was a great way to recycle our trash destined tree. 32 large rocket engines and some careful calculations ensured fun for the whole family."
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The Airplane as Art - Pietenpol Aircamper Ribs
The Airplane as Art: Gene Rambo's Pietenpol

Here's a little teaser to keep you up late at night.  You love aviation.  We love aviation.  You love airplanes.  We love airplanes.  You love to see the technical, the detail; the blood, the sweat, and the tears.  We love to bring it to you.  This is what we aim to do.

"Why is this picture here?" you ask.  This is a preview.  While you've been busy surfing the internet, we've been busy looking for cool planes and projects to photograph and write about.  This is what we've been working on.  Stay tuned, because we've got more photos to share.  File this under "Coming Soon".
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RV-6A Flips on LandingTaildraggers, Inc. Tip of the Day:

Never Fly the "A" Model of Anything

I know this has been beat to death over on the VAF site, but there might be a couple of you out there who still haven't seen these pics.

This accident apparently happened on landing at a grass field in the UK back in June of 2007. Both of the occupants were reported to be unhurt.

A little digging, and you'll see that this isn't the first time an RV-6A has ended up on it's back when the nosewheel dug in. Van's has come out with a new design for their nosewheel (this is old news, too) in an effort to stop these kinds of problems.

My solution? Build it as a taildragger, and save yourself the embarrassment and expense.
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Czech Aircraft Works SportcruiserIt seems that if you stall a tricycle geared airplane, it will spin without warning! DANGER!

This is tongue-in-cheek, of course. Read the article, and hopefully we call all learn something from it. But be warned, DON'T FLY TRICYCLE GEARED AIRPLANES!!! They're dangerous...

NTSB Prelim: LSA Checkout/Stall Series Turns Into Spin
Mon, 04 Jan '10
This Could Have Gone A LOT Worse

An LSA CFI earned her hourly rate the hard way last month when an aircraft checkout and stall series turned into an impromptu lesson in spin recovery... and was terminated by an off-field landing with injuries and damage to the airframe...  Read the whole story HERE

From www.aero-news.net
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It must be video week. If you haven't heard about Greg Swingle and Ohio Bush Planes, you're not experiencing everything general aviation has to offer.

Greg has been putting together some truly entertaining flying videos for last year. Most of his videos feature his Rans S7-S in and out of some of the shortest and most unique strips in Ohio, but this video really hit the spot for me. What can I say? I'm a sucker for a biplane, and I love the single hole Pitts'. Once you're done watching this video, cruise on over to Vimeo and watch the rest of Greg's videos. When you're finished there, go to the Ohio Bush Planes website and buy a DVD so you can watch 'em on the big screen.
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Looking for some more Aerotainment?  Go to All of 2009 :: OR :: Check out the Archives!