Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

Hi All,

Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year.

Attached is the final part of my story in our Australian Antique Aeroplane Association Rag and Tube magazine.

I hope you enjoy it!

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Well written, Steve! Your two birds look rather chummy together in your hangar. Are you sure the lean-to is worth the effort of ballroom dancing with the local bureaucracy?

Whatever became of the 2" gas cap? Did AS&S send it later, or just cancel it outright?

Perhaps because of your articles, there will be more skinny birds headed down under in Conex containers.  Too many projects are languishing in the states.

For those who have wondered why the Porterfield is so skinny, it's because the original airframe was designed by Noel Hockaday, when he was teaching the shop classes at Wyandotte High School in the mid-30's. He thought building the "Wyandotte Pup" would be a nice shop project for his students. The finished product had to get out through the shop's 32" wide door though...so the fuselage, with it's protruding strut attach fittings, had to be narrower than that.

When Ed Porterfield bought the design rights, he never bothered to widen the fuselage for the production models. People didn't have fast food back then, nor a lot of food, nor bovine growth hormones, etc,. so they didn't grow as big as we do now.

Thanks Andy, I’m pleased you enjoyed it.

I persevered with our local bureaucracy and received building approval the day we started erecting the posts. We thought we would make a start without approval and erect the posts, and if queried we would claim they were flagpoles. Fortunately the approval came through the very morning we started.

The gas cap simply got cancelled, the freight to send it separately would have far exceeded the price of the cap. I’m not even sure he’s received the cap to date. He ordered the cap via another source and still hadn’t received it 6 months later.

As for more Porterfield’s heading Down Under, well we could only hope! Our Aus $ would need to improve first I think.

Thank you for the brief history on the reason for the skinny fuselage. The more I learn about the Porterfield the more fascinated I become with it. I originally thought this plane would be a stepping stone and after awhile I would sell it and move on to something else, but now I think the something else would have to be in addition to the Porterfield. It’s unique and has a lot of history.

Andy Gelston said:

Well written, Steve! Your two birds look rather chummy together in your hangar. Are you sure the lean-to is worth the effort of ballroom dancing with the local bureaucracy?

Whatever became of the 2" gas cap? Did AS&S send it later, or just cancel it outright?

Perhaps because of your articles, there will be more skinny birds headed down under in Conex containers.  Too many projects are languishing in the states.

For those who have wondered why the Porterfield is so skinny, it's because the original airframe was designed by Noel Hockaday, when he was teaching the shop classes at Wyandotte High School in the mid-30's. He thought building the "Wyandotte Pup" would be a nice shop project for his students. The finished product had to get out through the shop's 32" wide door though...so the fuselage, with it's protruding strut attach fittings, had to be narrower than that.

When Ed Porterfield bought the design rights, he never bothered to widen the fuselage for the production models. People didn't have fast food back then, nor a lot of food, nor bovine growth hormones, etc,. so they didn't grow as big as we do now.

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