View Full Version : American Classics

31st Jan 2003, 11:51
To continue the themes of great light aircraft (MMMMMmmmiles and Ahhhh Auster).... and to see us Northern Hemispherians (?) through the dank dark days of winter...

What's your favourite American classic?

I drool over all of them but I think my favourite's got to be the Spartan Executive. Always admired the pics, then came face to face with one at Reno! Wow! Great lines, an almost mirror-finish reflecting the crowd of admirers, and a great big round engine on the front... Then four of them at Osh... heaven!

Second choice would probably be the Monocoupe 90 or 110 (is G-AFEL still around?)

Hope we'll get a few great tales out of this one!

Philip Whiteman
31st Jan 2003, 17:44
May I take everyone who knows me completely by suprise, and put in a vote for the Piper Cub?

Not only is it the prettiest and best proportioned light aeroplane of the lot, but it has the true inner beauty of being simple and long lasting.

The only reason that I have been able to fly for as long as I have - and can still just about hang onto my own L-4 now - is that the Cub is also incredibly cheap to run. It flys like a dream too; what more could you ask for?

31st Jan 2003, 20:02
Beech 17 'Staggerwing', what else?

1st Feb 2003, 10:27
Well, now you've really started something, Treadders. This one could run and run. (And no change there, then, Mr Whiteman seconded!). Top of my list would have to be the Beech Staggerwing, D or G model. Next, gullwing Stinson Reliant, especially the SR-9 series with bump cowl and curved windscreen the smooth cowl and flat multi-pane windscreen on the SR-10 and military V-77 spoiled the lines to my eye. Cessna Airmasters, and their post-war siblings the 190/195. Waco RE series. And any of the single-engine Lockheeds. Since some are now more than half a century old, post WW2 'neo-Classics' deserve a mention. Piper Super Cruiser. Navion. Comanche 250. Straight-tail, 'tuna tank' Cessna 310s. And top of my list, pre-1960 Aero Commanders, with their big geared and supercharged Lycomings and augmentor tube exhausts, emitting a non-politically correct, but joyously raucous note matched only by a Can-Am McLaren. Upscale, the Grumman Mallard, my vote as the best looking amphibian ever.

I think the 'coupe is in storage in Germany.

1st Feb 2003, 17:12
Yes I'd vote for any Waco too. Except for that tri-gear abomination (AVN ?). But of all, the xPF series is the most visually pleasing - something about the curve of that dorsal fin. Oh and the Fleets too - sweet little things.

Lu Zuckerman
1st Feb 2003, 19:41
How about the Grumman J2F Duck or, the Gee Bee R1 or the Howard DGA6 (Mr. Mulligan) or, any of the Thompson Trophy racers of the late 1930s.


1st Feb 2003, 19:53
Of course I have to second Mr. Whiteman. If you take the Super Cub as a direct descendant of the Cub (which it is and in fact the two are pretty much indistinguishable to a non-flyer or someone not familiar with them) then this aircraft has been in more or less continuous production for over 70 years and remains a workhorse for which there is no substitute in such places as Alaska. This is a classic!

Others of mine include:

Grumman Goose / Widgeon
Cessna 195
Staggerwing -- just a beauty.

Let's face it, and it pains me to say it, but with few exceptions the Americans have been streets ahead of the Brits in light aircraft design since the 30s. (That statement should set the cat amongst the pigeons!)


2nd Feb 2003, 02:16
The Spatan was a tough airplane. While my dad was working for Stanley Aviation here in Denver , Colorado, Bob Stanley was screwing around over his house in the mountains and hit a power line. He landed in Denver with 150 feet of line trailing from the spar of the aircraft. Stanley was the first pilot of the first American jet ... P59.

As far as transports.................the lines of the Connie are prehistoric Concorde for just plain grace.

2nd Feb 2003, 02:45
Staggerwing Beech.
I've flown the SR-9, on floats. I worked for a company back in the '60's that had one, and one afternoon another guy and myself took it and did a few touch and go's. I remember that it flew well, and it had a weird vacuum operated flap system, but that's about all.

2nd Feb 2003, 16:07
I thought I'd nip across from my MMMmmmiles thread to give you a kick start on this one!

Funny story -

Gordon Spooner - master craftsman responsible for the superb restoration of MMMmmmessenger G-AJWB - said to me not more than a week after he had finished it - 'What do I do now? It has to be made of metal and have a good performance so that I can maybe dump the Piper Dakota.'

I Immediately thought of the Navion.

Guess what?

He now owns 2 of them, a classic (whatever designation that would be) and a RangeMaster.

So - look out for a concours Navion next year - I am sure it will be well featured in the Pilot Press when he finishes it.

Globe Swift - I went to Sun n Fun a couple of years back and saw a row of Globe Swifts. Wow! Pity there aren't any here(?).

I also think that the Stinson TriMotor is dead funky - and not only because its windscreen slopes the wrong way!


2nd Feb 2003, 16:58
Hairyplane: Where does Gordon Spooner keep his Navions? Since the Navion has never been certificated in the UK, presumably he'll have to operate on an overseas register? Incidentally, I have a heap of original North American factory photos of Navions, if they might be of any help to him with his 'classic'.

There are still two Globe Swifts in the UK, but neither is active. Pity Helliwells never manufactured them here, as was planned back in 1947.

3rd Feb 2003, 09:30
Hairyplane: Ignore my last about the Navions' whereabouts. I already knew where they are, but hadn't made the connection. And there are at least three Globe Swifts in the country, but none flying.

3rd Feb 2003, 10:01
I'd like a Fairchild Argus please.
It has a stick
It has window winders
it has a round engine or a straight six
it has enough seats to take a couple of friends for a jolly
its wheels are the right way round
I could almost afford one once..........don't know what they are worth these days though.

3rd Feb 2003, 12:21
Ah, excellent relies of course, you are all gentlemen (and ladies?) of exquisite taste - from Cub to Connie by way of Staggerwing, all wonderful...

To add to the Cessnas in Aerohack's first post, how about the Cessna 180/185, preferably with the underbelly cargo pack for that rugged bush look?

The Mallard? Well, absolutely because this thread is about American classics, though personally I think it shares first spot in the amphibian stakes with the Short Sealand (ah, would that one of those still flew in the UK!)

Re the early Lycoming Aero Commander - not sure I've ever heard one flying, but would they sound similar to the Queen Airs and the old Do-28Ds? I can recall listening to the Queens getting airborne from Biggin on occasion and wondering why anyone would dare complain about Harvards!!!! And used to see WGAF Do-28Ds transiting across from Brawdy towards Dover at about 10,000 - depending on the prevailing wind, you could hear them for about half an hour!

I'd like to see the Monocoupe back in the air here - first saw it lurking in a hangar at Redhill about twenty years ago and was smitten!

Keep 'em coming...

3rd Feb 2003, 14:48
Well, Treadders, you and I really are on the same wavelength. My original response, before I put it on the thread, noted of the Mallard "but the Short Sealand is right up with it in the beauty stakes." Long time since I've seen one of those (or a piston-engined Mallard, come to think of it).

Do the old Commanders sound like Queen Airs and Do 28Ds? Yes, exactly like that. Twin Bonanzas, too, and Piaggio 166s. Harvards? Pah! Mere mumblers compared to the throaty roar of anything with a pair of GSO/IGSO-480s. The Mexican National Bank used to operate a Heron whose Gipsy Queens had been replaced with four GSO-480s, and I think there was a McKinnon Goose conversion that also had a quartet of them.

3rd Feb 2003, 15:35
Absolutely, but when one is talking REAL classic aeroplanes, be they American, British, whatever... :D

I wonder if the Sealand in Belgrade still survives? I suspect the Pakistani and Indian examples are long gone...

I had thought Chalks had gone (Watson Island seemd deserted when I was last there in 1999) but, good news, I've just found their web-site and they are still operating the Mallards... they might be turbine powered, but what the hey, they are still Mallards! Time for another trip to Florida I think... :cool:

Yep, great sound those big Lycomings - seem to remember that thread hopping Widgeon, N444M, sounded pretty similar too!


3rd Feb 2003, 23:22
Does anyone remember the Kari-Keen Coupe?
Kari-Keen was a luggage-making company in Sioux City. Iowa that got bitten by the aviation bug in the 1920's. They hired a graduate of the USD's fledgling aeronautical engineering program, Swen Swansen, to design a simple, side-by-side, two seat monoplane of mixed construction.
Innovative for its time was the cantilever wing supported by an exceptionally strong tapering box spar made of spruce. The wing's leading edge was covered with aluminium, the rest with grade A fabric. The fuselage was a fabric-covered steel tube frame. Powerplant was a modest-looking 90-hp Lambert radial swinging a Fahlin wooden propeller.
Unfortunately, after about 50 had been built, the company went bankrupt. One survived until at least 1988, as NC-244K restored by one Frank Bass.

Hardly a classic, but still a very pretty aeroplane.

Kermit 180
4th Feb 2003, 02:02
The Super Cub and Cessna 180/185 get my votes. Both are very rugged machines which can provide a variety of services to remote or 'rough' areas, and which rarely break down or fail. Both dont look too bad either, which is a department in which a lot of other 'rugged' machines fail in.

Kerms ;)

4th Feb 2003, 03:20
I may be the splitter here, but I have always liked prototypes - they are classics for me.

The American ones that come to my mind are:

Cessna 620 (only one built and trashed by Cessna)

Northrop's early versions of the flying wing, the XB-35 and the YB-49 (more here (http://www.pilotfriend.com/century-of-flight/Aviation%20history/jet%20age/Northrop%20wing1.htm) )

but then I always liked the odd (planes) :rolleyes: .

Chimbu chuckles
4th Feb 2003, 07:22
Hmm American Classics.

All those mentioned are certainly worthy and I agree particularly with those who admire the C180/185 series. There's a georgous C195 here in Queensland which would have to be one of the better looking aircraft still flying.

I used to have a 1963 C185, complete with cargo pod, which was used as a bush aeroplane in PNG. Until an idiot Kiwi crashed her 10 years back.

P2-AWM outside old Aeroclub, Port Moresby, PNG, 1992 (http://www.fototime.com/{5320747B-2622-423A-9929-4EE5999F9638}/picture.JPG)

I'm a little surprised no-one has mentioned the decendants of the Beech 17. Surely the Bonanza series must qualify as an American Classic...mine's approaching 33 years old...not quite vintage yet but certainly veteran, and definately a classic :D

VH-EZU @ Redcliffe QLD 2003 (http://www.fototime.com/{F5C7F7BB-465C-4031-8C61-E4359A217A28}/picture.JPG)

But for you Poms:D a classic taildragger that belongs to a mate in Old Blighty and who frequents these Forums as Taildragger. I flew her a few times when owned by yet another expat POM. A 1954 model C180 looking just devine.

G-BTSM nee P2-DEQ (http://www.fototime.com/{CBFD5FFE-0483-4E52-8D0A-AC697CDECBED}/picture.JPG)

Modern plastic aeroplanes just don't match up I'm afraid.


4th Feb 2003, 09:33
atb1943: Very pretty aeroplane, the Kari-Keen Coupe. Sort of cross between a scaled-down Cessna A-series and a Monocoupe.

Squawk 7777: Never expected to see the Cessna 620 mentioned. One of my favourites. Cessna did such a good job of destroying everything connected with it that is hard to get anyone there to admit to its one-time existence. Likewise the CH-1 Skyhook helicopter. I was once assured by a Cessna PR person "Sir, this company never built any helicopters". Oh yes it did! If we're going to nominate one-offs, then I'd throw in the McDonnell 119/220 bizjet, a real good looker.

The Bonanza's such an obvious contender that none of us seems to have thought of it. Perhaps the fact that it is still in production, albeit in markedly different form to the original V-tail, is a clue here. Hard to believe that it first flew 57 years ago. Twin Beech also deserves nomination in the classic stakes.

Iron City
4th Feb 2003, 13:56
Vote one for the Cub/Supercub/Pacer/Tripacer or the Pitcairn Mailwing

Swift is a beautiful a/c but having watched one do a stall/spin on takeoff while in pilot training (all 5 SOB dead including 3 childern) it kind of turned me off the type.

5th Feb 2003, 06:57
My favourite has really got to be the Cessna 310 (ff 50 years ago). G-APNJ the UK's first (and Europe's?) is still with us today at Shoreham in the Northbrook College (who have incidentally started their new building), albeit in a Meccano mode and no longer airworthy. But the original paint scheme is still there. The first bulk order was placed by SABENA for their school at Grimbergen, and one of those is still extant in G-BPIL.

In the same breath I have to mention the Aero Commander 560 for looks, Beech Twin Bonanza and Piper Apache.

What I'd like to have seen more of is the Cessna Bobcat.

And don't forget the Ryan Navion and Globe Swift too.

A a a h..........

5th Feb 2003, 07:26
My personal all time favourite American classic would have to be the Harvard aka Texan. What a beautiful machine and I just love the sound of that big old radial.
This would be followed a close second by the DC3.

5th Feb 2003, 11:06
atb1943: 'PNJ was certainly the first 310 registered in the UK (via Ireland, as came many U.S. imports of that era), but a long way from being the first in Europe. Most of the Sabena crew trainer fleet arrived before it did, and there were others in Belgium, France (Turbomeca had one), Germany and Switzerland.

I share your admiration for early 310s and the Bobcat, the latter long gone from European skies, though I believe Salis has one under restoration at La Ferte-Alais. Last one I saw on this side of the Atlantic was 40 years ago, in the back of the old Escadrille Mercure hangar at Le Bourget (now one of the Musee's halls), along with a Staggerwing and EM's very shiny Twin Beeches. Have you ever seen the old American soap opera Sky King, about a flying rancher from Arizona? He started out with a Bobcat named 'Songbird', moved on to a 310B and finally a 310D. Cult stuff in the U.S. but I've never seen it on TV here.

5th Feb 2003, 12:47
There was a Bobcat on the Belgian register, probably into the late seventies... saw a photo somewhere... Might be able to put me hands on it.

Mooneys anybody? Particularly the early ones...

Iron City
5th Feb 2003, 13:42
Good Grief Aerohack...I hadn't thought of Sky King in years. It was essentially a kids show, saturday mornings and all that.

I remember the 310s only, though. The "airborne" shots looked like they were done in a cockpit mockup against a backdrop, though occasionally you would get a shot of the aircraft landing or taking off from the ranch.

Wonder whether it is available on video, seems like every old piece of junk is.

5th Feb 2003, 16:00
The show doesn't seem to have made it across the Atlantic, though 'Whirlybirds' did. I'm pretty sure I've seen boxed sets of Sky King videos advertised in U.S. magazines. Meanwhile check out www.angelfire.com/tv2/skyking which has a couple of .AVI clips of the Bobcat and 310. They don't work for me, unfortunately.

5th Feb 2003, 16:37
Ok here is my list.

As an owner of a L4 Cub and a TaylorCraft BC12 these aircraft get my vote. Early Cubs really are THE classic US light aircraft.

How about the Luscombe 8 ? - a truly ground breaking design and beautiful looks.

I am however, a fanatical fan of the Mooney M18 Mite - The smallest certified aircraft of them all and certainly one of the cutest. In fact, I'm so obsessed that I'm hatching a plan to buy one in the States and bring it to the UK!

Mooney Mite Site (http://mooneymite.com)


5th Feb 2003, 18:17
Kingy: Did you catch my previous post in the Private Flying Forum about the possibility that there's already a Mite in the UK?

5th Feb 2003, 21:59

Thanks! I've just checked out your reply - now that's very interesting. Do you have any more details? if it's never been registered it may prove hard to track down without a solid lead...

Does Germany have a G-INFO style web site so I could check if that one still exists..?

Thanks for the info.


6th Feb 2003, 10:06
Cessna 180/185 ..... Bootiful. Only one for me really.
What Chimbu Chuckles said about a "Kiwi Idiot" crashing P2-AWM rang a bell..... the guyaslo wrote off himself and 9 (NOT a misprint) other human beings all crammed into this six seater 185.!! he had been in Papua New Guinea only 4 days and he was sent up into the mountains on his own. That's not bad luck, that's sending the guy to his death.
it also started a chain of events which ended with Chimbu Chuckles and one other who shall be nameless due to the fact that I am bashful, having an (The) engine quit and caused us to land on a road....but that, as they say, is another story.
Clyde Cessna's 180/185 is the prettiest, best performing, most wonderful aircraft that ever flew. Oh,........ and N4781A/P2-DEC,P2-DEQ/G-BTSM (All the same aircraft) is the prettiest of them all.

6th Feb 2003, 16:53
I'll just confine myself to the lighter end of the scale cos I could dream of realistically owning some of them if I had a REALLY big Lottery win :D

Old Clyde Cessna did cause some lovely aircraft to be built:

Before the lovely 180/185 I think the 190/195 radial engined, cantilevered wing beauties were/are gorgeous. The Bobcat twin also had a certain charm.

The Beech Staggerwing and 18 twin are way up there as is the Lockheed 12 (Beech 18 contemporary).

The Cub is an obvious one but it does tend to overshadow the Bellancas which had all the bad bits of the Cub designed out (10mph faster, solo from front seat, decent undercarriage, more room)

Finally the trainers: Ryan ST and it's successor the PT-19 and the unforgettable Stearman or more correctly, the Boeing Kaydett.

Ultimately, the one's I'd like most in my hanger would be the Ryan ST with a Lockheed 12 for taking the family around and a Stearman for mild aeros on a sunny Sunday. Oh yes and a Grumman Widgeon for going fishing......

No, I'm not greedy, honest. :rolleyes:

Lu Zuckerman
6th Feb 2003, 20:23
How come nobody mentioned the PBY-5A?


6th Feb 2003, 23:28

If 'TSM was yours in about 1994/95 then we met, at WW. I was enroute to IAT with an American colleague and WW was on the way. You were washing 'SM down, and told us its history.

Small world indeed!

And pretty aeroplane too - indeed. Have some nice photos.

ps It was the year the two Mig-29s collided at Fairford, '94 I believe.

The following two years we ran the flight planning unit at IAT....

7th Feb 2003, 00:04

Just remembered:

The Mooney Mustang (pressurized, huge 8-cylinder), I was told that a few still fly.

The Twin Mooney (not sure if it ever had a name or was assigned a number). Just one built as far as I recall - and destroyed. It was apperently an engineering flaw)

7th Feb 2003, 03:06
Squawk, re the Cessna 620. Was that the four place version of the Tweety Bird? I forget the military designation. T-37?

A couple of others nobody mentioned are the Lockheed 10 1nd 12. I have been lucky enough to have flown both types, back in the '60's. Great airplanes!


7th Feb 2003, 06:06
Cessna 620 (twice a 310 !) :


Cessna 407 (Cabin Tweet) :


7th Feb 2003, 07:52
Speaking of Navions, there was a Temco Twin Navion on the UK register many years ago - G-ARIT. I assume an aicraft modified to that extent would require a separate type certificate from the original design. This example was built originally by Ryan.

Twin Mooney? Never heard of that one... anyone got a pic?

There is (was) a Mooney Mustang in Europe - Swiss, can reall seeing it on the customs ramp at Biggin years ago.

We were discussing Queen Airs, Dorniers and other noisy types in the pub last night and reached (I think) the conclusion that consideration is far ourweighed by aestheticism (if one can apply that word to a sound)!

Excellent aeroplane, the PBY-5A, just not as pretty as the Mallard (or the Sealand!).


7th Feb 2003, 10:33
The Twin Mooney was unofficially designated M.22 (later adopted for the financially disastrous Mustang). It was essentially a wood-wing M.20 with a pair of 150 hp Lycoming O-320s hung on the wings in C310-style flat nacelles, a new nose cone, and a huge dorsal fin ahead of the traditional forward-swept, all-moving Mooney tail generally along the same lines as the Super V conversion of the Bonanza, and the Twin Navion. It flew in late 1958, was re-engined with O-360s, and abandoned. Poor single-engine performance, inadequate directional control with an engine out, C of G problems and inadequate fuel capacity sank it.

Coincidental that the Cessna 407 should have cropped up. Just yesterday I exchanged e-mails with 'Flying' magazine's editor Mac McLellan after he'd mentioned it in his February editorial. I've seen several reports that a 407 prototype flew certainly a factory serial number and N-number were assigned. Mac says that as a result of his piece, several Cessna veterans contacted him with more details, and there never was a prototype, just a mockup cobbled together from T-37 parts attached to a 'putty' cabin, plus a couple of cabin interior mockups. When neither USAF nor potential Fortune 500 customers showed any interest, the project was dumped.

7th Feb 2003, 21:11
In 1990 there were two Swiss Mooney M.22s, HB-DVY c/n 690004 and HB-DVZ c/n 700001.
'DVY followed us to the pumps at Girona on our way back from Morocco in a TB20 in Oct 1998. I remember the owner was quite proud of his rare machine. He was enroute to Basel. We had arrived from Rabat, where I distinctly remember seeing a Sea Fury, wings folded, at the military hangar, next to a parked up Gulfstream 1. I believe attempts have been made to recover the Sea Fury, but I heard that since it was a gift from a friendly State (Jordan?), they were unable to part with it.

Has anyone mentioned Boeing Stearmans? Or are they still too utterly common? Nice sound, eh?

8th Feb 2003, 01:07
The 620 may be a classic, but it sure is one ugly mother. On the other hand, the Cabin Tweet is kinda cute.
Aerohack, I saw that piece in this month's Flying. That's why I thought maybe it was the 620.

8th Feb 2003, 05:22
C'mon pigboat, the 620 isn't ugly ... errr it's CLASSIC! :rolleyes:

(I got about 500 hours in the 310, and I always wondered how it would fly with 4 engines! Additionally, how COMPLEX would the fuel system be? ;) )

Another classic that comes to my mind is the mighty B-29. As a matter of fact, Comrade Stalin liked it so much, that he ordered it to be exactly duplicated (which is hardest thing for engineers to do!). Three B-29 that emergency-landed in Russia after returning from bombing raids on Japan were never given back to the US. Secretly, one was totally dismantled, one kept as reference and the other as a partly assembled reference. Stalin put such a pressure on his engineers that some comitted suicide. He ordered the B-29 to be duplicated in two years! The result was the Tupolev 2 (?) Bomber.

It is also a "classic" how the Soviets surprised the Americans during their Red Parade in 47 or 48. Three Tu-2s flew by and many American observers thought to recognize their missing B-29s. They were alarmed however, when they saw a fourth Tu-2 - this time an airliner version of the Tu-2 (not sure what the designation was/is).

8th Feb 2003, 08:08
I heard that they copied the B-29 exactly, even down to the ashtrays, which was not part of the usual Russian design mode.

Got to know one of the original test pilots, Marc Gallai, whose German was very good. A Russian gentleman.

8th Feb 2003, 14:18
Two of my favourites.




Poitiers or Pontoise 1972. Can't remember which!

Lu Zuckerman
8th Feb 2003, 19:08
In 1977 I remember seeing a Connie in the middle of a field. I believe they had converted it into a restaurant. It was not too far from Calais if I remember correctly.


Sir George Cayley
8th Feb 2003, 21:05
Cut me half and you'll be amazed to see the letters K STINSON written all the way through me!

Yes the SR9C was just about the ultimate Gull Wing (but just look at what you'll pay for one now!)

But what about the HW75? Hailed at launch as the "littlest Stinson" it evolved into the Model 105 so named because it cruised at 105 mph. This was mid to late 1930's.

The memory of my stewardship of one in the 1980's still gives me the most pleasure. It and a sister a/c still fly in the UK 70 years after the design was first penned and 65 years since they were built

I do so miss it

Sir George Cayley

The air is a navigable ocean that laps at everyones door

10th Feb 2003, 19:05
I had just realised that I had been wrong :eek: (what me? Wrong? impossible! :eek: ;) )

The copied B-29 was not the Tu-2 but the Tu-4. The passenger version was called the Tu-70.

More info here (http://legion.wplus.net/index.html?/guide/air/b/tu4.html)

7 7 7 7

chimbu warrior
26th Feb 2003, 04:22
Well here is my two cents worth..............
Aerohack - the Airmaster is lovely to look at, and indeed very efficient, but far from comfortable to sit in if you are over five feet tall (back of your head against the spar, and nose pressed against the windscreen), has poor ventilation on the ground (prop the cabin door open to stop the windscreen misting up) and is not nice to taxi (due aforementioned restrictions to head movement, very difficult to see where you are going). I enjoyed flying one, but much prefer the 195, which by the way is the ultimate Cessna.
Gog - totally agree with your comments on the Argus, but don't put too much weight in the back. Those pushrods and roller bearings in the control system make it delightful to fly.
Treadigraph - Totally agree with your comments re the 180/185, and back up the comments of Taildragger and Chimbu Chuckles. As a workhorse they are unbeatable, but see comments above re the 195.
LowNSlow - yes the Ryan ST and Stearman are also both lovely, especially the STA (better control harmony than the STM for some reason) and the Stearman with the W-670 engine (R-985 makes them feel chunky).

But if you want to fly a really sweet machine................try a Porterfield 35/70. Almost impossible to climb into the front seat unless your are anorexic, but once you are there, boy does it feel good. Roll into a 20 degree bank, take your hands off the stick and it will just continue to orbit all day. Easy to fly, cheap to run, good looking................unfortunately not enough of them were built and few survive.

And finally...........not an American classic, but.............an Avro Avian is beautiful to fly, and makes you realise just what a truck the Tiger Moth is. What a pity more of these don't survive also.

Great thread.