Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

Greetings fellow Porterfield admirers. Back in March, Andy posted about an LP-65 on Barnstormers. The ad called it a "warbird" because it was transferred to the Defense Plant Corporation (DPC) in 1942-1944. Our Skinny Bird NC27249, was also owned by the DPC from 3/12/43 until 8/8/44. What is the consensus on this qualification for such status? I would imagine DPC used these birds for primary pilot training to support our country's defense efforts. Every Cub, Champ, Luscombe and
T-Craft must have been transferred as well. What say y'all?



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The DPC bought a lot of Collegiate type aircraft and issued them to contracted flight schools participating in the Civilian Pilot Training Program. For instance, Interstate Aircraft's sole buyer of all their Cadets was the DPC. They never sold an airplane to a private individual, it was all government sales.

As for "warbird status," that's just marketing hype. Collegiates were never flown in combat, nor even as military hacks, nor "L-bugs." Thus, they have no military designations.

Porterfield did make WACO CG-4A gliders for a while. The War Department ordered them to shut down the Collegiate production line and retool for glider production. An Army captain arrived in a C-47 to inspect and test fly their first glider off the line. The glider had a radio onboard. The captain radioed down that the glider flew so well, he was accepting her right then, while still airborne...then he proceeded to roll her up into a ball on landing. Since she'd been accepted, Porterfield didn't lose any money in the debacle, but troop gliders were deemed obsolete on June 7th. 1944, and production halted, pronto.

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