Aircraft

During Hugh's earlier years he had a very large interest in airplanes.  This started perhaps prior to age 5, and continues today, but primarily with homebuilts and antiques.  Hugh was one of the charter and developing members of EAA Chapter 29 in Urbana, Illinois. 

But Hugh's urge to own an airplane subsided some with the advent of a family.  Hugh owned several airplanes, one at a time, over the years as shown in the pictures below.  All of the planes, except the Luscombe, were obtained either in pieces or as "junk" airplanes.  Each required special attention to restore it to flight status and the picture should attest to the condition at the time the picture was taken.

Hugh took Barbara for her first plane ride in the the 1941 Culver Cadet and her second ride was in the Jodel D-11, both shown below.  

Hugh's flying career started at an early age when Los Angeles International Airport was called Mine's Field.  It was a dirt strip just east of a sand dune off of the Pacific Ocean.  At that time, Hugh visited all of the aircraft on the field and had the opportunity of touching the aircraft and feeling the excitement of flying.  But it was many years later before Hugh had the opportunity of going for a ride.  And the ride was interesting because it was in an LK-11 military surplus sailplane re-built by one of Hugh's neighbors.  After several flights in the air, the excitment and commitment to flying was extremely strong and required satisfaction.  Of course, every airport and airplane on each field was well known as they were visited frequently.

Then one day a Luscombe 8C was found at the Culver City Airport with a "for sale" sign hanging on it.  Well, that was it and it became Hugh's first plane, and its picture is shown below after the plane was completely refurbished.  The Luscombe was refurbished and tied down at Hawthorne Airport.  It was later traded for the pieces of the BT-15 that's also shown below.   The BT is affectionately known as the Vultee Vibrator - and yes it did!

Of course, to be a pilot, one needs to have a license so Hugh proceeded in that direction, but owning a plane meant flying it more than studying, so fly he did.  A few years later while in the Air Force, he flew planes off of a local civilian airport near Biloxi, Mississippi.  The owner of the airport had had enough of Hugh's just flying around on a Student license, so arranged to have him take the Private exam at the municipal airport in New Orleans, Louisiana.  The big event was on a Sunday morning and the flight over, the exam, and the flight back was terrific, and of course, successful.

Later upon being transferred to Chanute AFB in Illinois, Hugh started flying at the Illini Airport just north of the University Of Illinois.  While at that airport, Hugh obtained his Commercial and Multiengine land licenses.  Also while at that field, he built up two airplanes (the Aeronca Champ, as one, is shown).  After leaving the Air Force and being employed at the University, he built up the Culver Cadet shown below.  The Culver was re-built on the grease rack in a gas station in Champaign, Illinois.  After completion it was hangered at the University Of Illinois Airport.  It was named "Lil Stinker" and you can see the skunk on the engine cowel.

Upon returning to California a few years later, he rented various airplanes as the frequency of flying subsided.  Now it's a case of HANGER FLYING that takes place anytime someone is willing to listen to the stories.  The pictures below bring back some really great memories.

This is a 1941 Culver Cadet LCA. N37843
* 2-place side-by-side
* 75hp 4-cyl Continental
* Manually retractable gear
* weight 891 lbs dry
* cruise 108mph
* wing span 26' 11"
* The wing was elliptical like that of
   a British Spitfire.
* All wood construction
This was Hugh's favorite airplane.
This is a 1946 Aeronca Champion 7AC (Air Knocker).  N1934E
* 2-place tandom
* 65hp 4-cyl  Continental
* cruise 85mph
* steel tube and rag construction
* superb training plane
This is a 1941 Consolidated Vultee BT-15 military trainer (Vibrator).  Less than 300hrs on engine and airframe.
*440hp R-975 Wright radial
* Iron wood 2-position prop
* cruise 135mph
* fuel - 50gal/hr pattern, 35 gal/hr 
   at cruise
* 2-place, modifiable to 5
This plane was stolen and flown to Mexico where it was trashed.
This is a 1941 Luscombe 8C Deluxe and Hugh's first airplane.  N39023
* 75hp 4-cyl fuel injected Continental
* cruise 105mph solo, 103 dual
* wing 26'
* 2-place side-by-side
* metal fuselage, rag wing
* no electrical system
* battery operated radio
This is a 1942 Waco UPF-7 that Hugh flew for many hours in which he learned some aerobatics. N29338
* 220hp Continental
* steel tube and rag construction
* cruise 120mph
* 3 place (two in the front cockpit)

That's Hugh and Barbara enjoying the fresh air beside the plane.

This is a Jodel D-11 homebuilt French design.  This airplane was owned and built (1956) by Rene Durenleau.  Hugh took Barbara for her second airplane ride in this one.   N7935A
* 65hp 4-cyl Continental
* all wood construction
* cruise 85mph
* 2-place
* wing 26' 10"
* weight 594 lbs dry
 
 
This is a Zenier Zodiac built and owned by George Pinneo. N444PZ.  The plane was built across the street from Hugh, and Hugh designed and built the electronic fuel indicator system.
* 85hp 4-cyl Rotax
* cruise 120mph
That's George in the cockpit; upper left. Finished and painted in lower right. Hugh flew the plane for close to two hours.
Although Hugh had the opportunity of towing many sailplanes after obtaining a commercial license, he wanted to fly one again after a great many years following his first flight.  This flight, with Hugh at the controls, was on a very cold and rainy day at about 2000 ft over Warner Hot Springs, California.
The plane is a Switzer 2-32.

Hugh had always wanted to fly a helicopter.  On 6/27/06 he took a one hour lesson and knew that he wanted more time at the controls.   The second hour was done on 7/25/06.  From almost the beginning of the 2nd hour, Hugh was nearly able to hover the craft with reasonable ease - a task that normally requires about 10-hours.
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