1931 Great Lakes 2T-1A
Member Ron Bartley provided guidance and support for this project for many years and he has passed the baton to Tim Talen, who is overseeing the restoration of this famous biplane of the Golden Age of Aviation. It is our intention to fly this aircraft sometime in either late 2016 or early 2017. Both Dorothy Hester and Tex Rankin flew this ship with great skill and to much acclaim. It is being restored to the “Rankin” configuration, which Tex flew in airshows throughout the West. Support for this major recreation has come from many sources, and it continues to need added funding.
The “Wimpy” was designed and constructed in 1935 by Leslie Long at Cornelius, OR. It is thought to be the first successful low-wing design of a homebuilt airplane. Oregon Aviation Hall of Fame member Myron Buswell acquired the airplane in 1938 and made several modifications. The airplane left Oregon in 1957 when it was purchased by Roy Olson of San Diego, CA. Mr. Olson donated the airplane to OAHS in November 2005. Following acquisition of the original plans, OAHS Director Bill Austin(deceased) began wing restoration. The plane is in the OAHS hangar awaiting additional work.
1931 Springfield Cadet
The 1931 Springfield Cadet was designed and built in Springfield, Oregon by Jim McManiman. It was owned and flown by motorcycle dealer Clarence Saville in 1935. It was acquired by the Society in 2003 and is currently being rebuilt by Al Sherman as a display at the History Center. You are invited to stop by and see the progress. The wings are almost finished and we hope to see it completed before the end of the year. This aircraft is destined to be a static display and will not fly again.
1930 Rupert Special
Unique to Oregon Aviation is the number and variety of homebuilt aircraft built during the Thirties. One such aircraft if the Rupert “Special” designed and built by pioneer aviator Walt Rupert of Beaverton, Oregon. The plane is now undergoing an extensive restoration under the direction of Mr. Dave McEwen; much help is needed. Both funding for ongoing work and acquisition of the correct engine – a Salmson AD-9 – are pressing issues. This will be a significant “heritage” aircraft in the Society’s collection. No completion date has been established.
1931 Eyerly Whiffle Hen
Lee Eyerly, along with some of his flight school students, built this little two-place monoplane in 1931. He built two of these aircraft but only one still exists, and it deserves to find a final home in the state of its birth. We are on a mission to bring it back to Oregon and restore it to its original condition.
Tom Story Special #1
Tom Story built his first aircraft based on the Wimpy in the late 1930’s. Though flown often, it was later purchased by George Bogardus, who renamed it the “Little Gee Bee.” This is the aircraft in which George made his several famous cross country flights to Washington, D.C., to encourage the federal government to establish the experimental/amateur class of aviation.
In the late 1940’s Story and his good friend Dick Andrus built near twin aircraft powered by A65 engines. These aircraft would be known as the Story Special #1/N1337N owned by Tom, and the Story Special #2/N1338N owned by Dick. Story Special #2 would go on to be co-owned by Pete Bowers and provide the inspiration for the Bowers Fly-Baby. The Fly-Baby was the winner of EAA’s 1962 aircraft design contest. The plans for the Fly-baby were published over a series of 14 articles in EAA’s Sport Aviation, and nearly 500 of these aircraft have been built since its publication. These articles as well as copies of the Fly-Baby plans are still available today.
The two original aircraft were bought and sold several times over the years, though always remaining in the Pacific Northwest. They were also featured together in an air to air shot on the first color edition of EAA’s Sport Aviation in 1960. The Story Special #2, still in flying condition, has been housed at OAHS over the past few years by the Story Flying Club- one of the oldest remaining flying clubs in the Pacific Northwest. As mentioned, Story #1 has recently returned to its Oregon roots. Currently unassembled, this aircraft will be maintained until it is moved to the OAHS restoration hangar. We at OAHS are honored to be curators of such important pieces of Oregon’s homebuilt lineage and look forward to seeing this new addition come back to life.
You can donate to any of these projects in two ways:
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By mailing a check or money order to the address below
2475 Jim Wright Way
Cottage Grove, OR 97478
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©2012 Oregon Aviation Historical Society, a 501(c)(3) corporation.