Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely
Hello Porterfield Fans!
Our Porterfield flight of 3 (piloted by club members Bob Cable, Mike Polley and Chris Bergen) to Ottumwa, Iowa and back (from Southern California- CCB) for the Antique Aircraft Association Flyin was great fun- and included 40 hours of flight time in our 'skinny birds', over 10 days. We chatted with AAA Founder Robert Taylor, a longtime Porterfield fan (who still owns the Porterfield he soloed in - 1947!). We met one other Porterfield LP 65, flown by Mike Weidhaas, of St. Louis, MO. (NC32417). We also participated in a photo shoot with noted aviation photographer Moose Peterson, who, with the EAA Vintage Magazine, hope to feature the Porterfields in a cover story soon!
On our return flight home, we stopped in to see Joe Rankin, at Rankin Airport, TC holder for the Porterfields. Joe wasn't feeling very well, but we were honored to meet him, and take a look at his modified Porterfield - now a 'Rankin Aircraft'. He's updated the Porterfield frame to hold a 100hp engine, updated the observatory window and tweaked some other things. The 'skinny birds' had to work hard to make it over the higher elevations westbound, over lower Wyoming and Utah, and the winds made for a very bumpy ride! But our intrepid pilots rode these birds just fine, and we got home with many stories and sore fannys.
Be sure to check out the EAA story-- and, we kept a blog of the events on a Facebook page www.facebook.com/jerribergen
Thanks for the follow-up report & photos, Chris! Facebook??? Why didn't you blog it here? Oh well, it will be nice to see Collegiates gracing the cover of Vintage again. These skinny birds sure could use the exposure. Did you try to wedge ol' Moose into a Collegiate? That would have made a good video that probably would have gone viral.
Joe broke a hip about a year ago and he hasn't yet fully bounced back from it. I've been remembering him in my prayers, but some some rows are longer than others to hoe. Do you know if he's well enough yet to again provide us with drawings?
I happened to catch your letter about the flight to the Antique Aircraft fly in and the stop over at Rankin airport. I am curious as to what Joe had done to his aircraft. What did you mean when you
mention "other things?"
The "other things" mentioned in the paragraphs above would be a metal prop on a 100 hp engine and a set of wings with metal ribs that hadn't been installed. Joe has many things that he would like to change but didn't go into much detail and unfortunately, we didn't have the time.