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Here at Taildraggers, Inc. we aim to bring you some of the best aero-content on the net. We love taildraggers, but we don’t stop there. We want to see and share the coolest airplanes, people, places, and websites that grassroots aviation has to offer. Taildraggers, biplanes, vintage, antique, aerobatics, bush flying, homebuilts, LSA’s, bitchin’ videos, amazing photos, and best of all, really great people are what we’re all about.
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Jun 17 2013
Jun 10 2013
I have a penchant for old magazines. I keep it pretty tightly contained to old airplane magazines. One of my favorites is the old EAA Experimenter and Sport Aviation magazines. In addition to the straight forward articles, and a nearly complete lack of commercials (ads for unrelated products), they document the EAA’s formative years.
In reading through the October 1959 issue of Sport Aviation, I spotted an airplane I hadn’t seen before on page 16. Photographed by Randy Barnes at the 1959 EAA fly-in in Rockford, Il, was an airplane captioned “Stearman Model B owned by Richard Ritenaur, Polo, Ill”
So, I Googled it. Nothing. All I got were Stearman biplanes. So, I went back to the magazine, and on page 23 was a drawing in the “Straub Sketchbook” article, which referred to the Model B as an “Aeriel”. So, back to Google. This time I started getting somewhere.
What I found is that the airplane was the second aircraft manufactured by the Ariel Aircraft Company, of which Glenn A. Stearman was the president. Glenn was cousin to Lloyd Stearman, the Stearman we all think about when we think of Stearman. To me, this means the EAA caption is incorrect, and the airplane should have been labeled as “Ariel Model B”. However, current FAA records show this airplane is now owned by the Kansas Aviation Museum, and is registered as a “Stearman Aviation model B”. So, it looks like there was name changing going on in the company’s short existence.
Of the limited information I found during a short search, the majority was posted on AeroFiles. They indicated that three Ariels were built in 1940-41. The first was the Model A with a 65 hp Lycoming, followed by two Model B’s; one with the 75 hp Continental, and the second with an 80 hp Franklin. The airplane that attended the 1959 fly-in looks to be the first Model B, N32459, which is now in the museum in Kansas.
FAA records indicate that Ariel Model A, NX25471, is now owned by Lon Cottingham of Kingwood, TX, is registered in the Experimental, Amateur Built category, and sports a Lycoming O-320. Talk about a horsepower upgrade! Maybe I’ll send him a letter and see if the airplane is still flying.
Jun 06 2013
I played this for my five year old daughter the other day to show her that other little girls fly. I’m trying to get her motivated to get into airplanes. She was so impressed that this little girl was flying “by herself”.
If I do my job right as a parent, my daughter will be on Judy’s Ladies Love Taildraggers site in a few years!
Jun 06 2013
I’ve got nothing. Seriously. I’ve been swamped with life outside of aviation. You know, family, kids, work, bills, mowing the lawn, fixing stuff around the house, birthday parties, etc. I haven’t touched the Baby Ace in weeks. Shameful, I know.
I did manage to sell a tailwheel. That will help to put a couple bucks back in the kitty for the Baby Ace. Which is good, because I’m wanting more and more to replace the old mild steel exhaust. That’s a full AMU* I hadn’t planned for. But I want a nice exhaust system under the cowl. Save a few pounds on the nose of an already tipsy airframe.
I’m also “in the process” of selling of a bunch of R/C stuff I’m not using. All of that will go on RCGroups and RCUniverse. Don’t expect to hear much about it here, but the funds raised are going into my Baby Ace project.
This week I started on an R/C glider project to fly with my kids. It’s a Great Planes Spirit ARF, but I think I would have been better off with a kit. The QC is lacking on these GP ARF’s. This is the third one I’ve had issues with. Hangar 9 and SIG are far and away better ARF’s. No comparison.
If you look at some of the older posts, you’ll see that I’m pretty active on Instagram. I like it. It’s easy, and there are lots of pictures for visually inspired people like me. Not too many words. If you’re on Instagram, please follow me. If you’re an aviation person, I’ll gladly follow you back. Especially if you post pictures of taildraggers!!!
*AMU = Aviation Monetary Unit – equivalent to one thousand U.S. dollars.
Jun 06 2013
Hey, hey, hey!!! More new CFI’s added to the Taildraggers, Inc. CFI / Flight School Di-rec-to-ray!
Folks, please support your local CFI. These fine ladies and gentlemen work hard for your business, all to promote and share a passion for aviation. Alright, enough babbling from me, here’s the scoop:
As always, we encourage ALL tailwheel-friendly CFI’s and Flight Schools to get listed here on Taildraggers, Inc. We receive nearly 1,000 hits per month for people searching for tailwheel CFI’s all over the U.S.A. You should be getting those customers!!! Follow the links below to see the directory, and learn how to get listed.
May 01 2013
Folks, I picked this tailwheel up recently as part of a Skybolt project I bought. I’m not parting out the project, but I’d prefer to use a newer Wittman style tapered rod tailwheel gear. So, I have no need for this one.
These are over $2,800 new from Univar (don’t believe me, HERE’S THE LINK). I’m asking $2,000 shipped to your door in the lower 48.
Please let me know if you have any questions, or want to buy it. This is a “what you see is what you get” sale, so look at the pictures closely.
Apr 21 2013
This is a somewhat in-depth interview and flying session with Matt Younkin and his Beech 18. The in-cockpit views are pretty awesome. To watch this airplane perform in person is awe inspiring.
My wife and I watched Bobby Younkin fly this airplane at an airshow in Smyrna, TN back in about 2005. We met him a couple of days later when he stopped for fuel in nearby Murfreesboro, TN. He was kind enough to talk with us for a few minutes before he departed, and we were impressed by his courtesy.
Enjoy the video.