Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

Andy Gelston
  • Male
  • Grantham, NH
  • United States

Andy Gelston's Friends

  • Jerry Deanda
  • Harry Taggart
  • Jim Mullin
  • Allen Self
  • David G Reichard
  • Bill Skinner
  • Perry M Chappano
  • Steve Sharpe
  • Tom Porterfield

Andy Gelston's Discussions

Club member featured in Air & Space Magazine article

Unfortunately, the article isn't about her Flyabout project...…Continue

Started May 21

Collegiate at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

If you do a search for them on YouTube, you'll see all of their videos, like these:https://youtu.be/q6S8Byj9JgMand…Continue

Started Mar 15

Porterfield Club newsletters from fifty years ago, available here
2 Replies

Half a century ago, Bob Schindler restarted the Porterfield Club and mailed out newsletters to its membership.  Member Bill Skinner went through the laborious process of scanning and uploading those…Continue

Tags: newsletters

Started this discussion. Last reply by Steve Ahrens May 13.

Replica data plates on eBay, in brass or aluminum: $185

on eBay: https://www.ebay.com/itm/201805755821?ul_noapp=trueThe data plate is blank and ready for your restoration. It measures 2…Continue

Started Nov 17, 2020


Andy Gelston's Page

Latest Activity

Andy Gelston replied to Mark's discussion Joe Rankin
"That’s a good question for Brad Rankin! Most of our old girls have pretty checkered histories of pampering, neglect, and being put to work teaching students how to fly. Some have been in the same family since they flew out of Kansas City."
Andy Gelston left a comment for Steve W
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Steve!  Is Jim Kobus of Milwaukee your Dad?  His old gal hasn't been registered for quite a while.  Will you be restoring her?  Her registration (N) number is still available, so…"
Jun 1
Andy Gelston posted a discussion
May 21
Andy Gelston replied to Carl Gingras's discussion Carb Heat Box for CP-65
"I’ve seen only the square type, as used on Champ, Cub, Cessna, etc. Ikd sure be interested in seeing a photo of the round type you speak of."
May 20
Andy Gelston replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion Serial Numbers
"There are more projects than there are airworthy Collegiates. I try to match them up with new, enthusiastic members as I learn of them. The Collegiate type was beloved by CPTP cadets, at least the seventy or so that I spoke with, back in the…"
May 20
Andy Gelston replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion Serial Numbers
"Unfortunately, no. Porterfield has never really been thoroughly researched and published by any aviation historians, that I’m aware of. I would like to think this info is buried somewhere in Joe Rankin’s files, but his son, Brad, has yet…"
May 16
Andy Gelston replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion Serial Numbers
"Serial numbers don't necessarily reflect the quantity produced, Steve. The Collegiate series started with s/n 550...the CP-50 prototype, but when it was upgraded under a different type certificate (A720), the serial numbers started at 651.…"
May 13
Steve Ahrens replied to Andy Gelston's discussion Porterfield Club newsletters from fifty years ago, available here
"Wow! Thank you!"
May 13
Andy Gelston left a comment for Steve Ahrens
"The Collegiate is a great tailwheel trainer. She was the favorite among most CPTP cadets."
May 10
Andy Gelston and Jerry Deanda are now friends
May 9
Andy Gelston left a comment for Jerry Deanda
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Jerry!  You’ll find a lot of information scattered about the website.  There is no official annual inspection checklist, so FAR 43, Apx D is what we use. Soft landings, Andy"
May 8
Steve Ahrens left a comment for Andy Gelston
"Thank you for the warm welcome Andy. I’m looking forward to doing my tail wheel endorsement with my new bird!"
May 3
Andy Gelston left a comment for Steve Ahrens
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Steve!  You’ll find a lot of information on the Collegiate, scattered about the website.  Once you get acclimated to the claustrophobic feeling of having the instrument panel a foot away…"
May 3
Bill Skinner replied to Andy Gelston's discussion Porterfield Club newsletters from fifty years ago, available here
"I have been corresponding with another local Skinny Bird owner, I got to wondering.... "Did my dad ever fly that ship?". I reviewed one of his logbooks and... nope, he didn't fly it. But I counted 33 that he did fly.…"
May 1
Andy Gelston left a comment for Andy Andraka
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Andy!  There's not a lot of info on this site for the Eaglet, so we home you can help fill in all the details we're missing, like the best way to keep Szekely jugs on the crankcase."
May 1
Andy Gelston left a comment for Robert Ferguson
"I’m 6’ and 165m I fit okay, but it takes a few minutes to get used to having the instrument panal about a foot away from your face, and you solo from the front seat only.  Are you looking at Roger Allen’s bird? Andy"
Apr 26

Profile Information

About Me:
Enough about me, let's talk about you...
Do you own a Porterfield Airplane?
NC41VT, 1941 FP-65, S/N 875 Has a Franklin 90 installed by Angelo Forte, under a one-time STC, in the mid-50's, and has had the seaplane conversion done to it (would that make it a FS-90?). I just need a cheap set of Edo 1320's now!
Are You a Pilot?
Why yes, I fly...

Andy Gelston's Photos

Andy Gelston's Blog

NC41VT and I are now back home in Vermont! How we got here...

I'm sitting in KMHT, writing this while waiting for my flight which should be wheels up in about 10 hours.  I fly to Newark, then to Seattle, then to Great Falls, and should be wheels down at KHLN about midnight (about 31 hours from now).  Hey, I live in New England!  We can't get anywhere from here!  41VT is at Boulder (K3U9) Airport, about 25 miles south of Helena, MT.  I'll buy a used bike  Wednesday morning (I hope), and pedal on down to Boulder to start prepping myself and 41VT for our…


Posted on October 14, 2013 at 6:30am — 1 Comment

Ad for NC41VT, a FP-65 converted to a FS-90

DESCRIPTION: NC41VT is a 1941 FP-65, S/N 875, with an STC’d Franklin 90 installation, completed by Angelo Forte in the mid-50’s, turning a Flottorp wood prop.  She has fresh Polyfiber covering and finish with the factory red and silver color scheme (ball with 2 stripes on each side).  Medium weight fabric was used throughout, with heavy weight fabric used on the belly and lower surfaces of the horizontal stabilizers and elevators.  The instrument panel is the deluxe version, made to…


Posted on July 23, 2013 at 9:30pm

Update on my '41 FP-65 project

After tinkering for over three years on my Collegiate, the novelty finally wore off for Pokey Gordon and he asked me to remove the old girl from his shop in Helena, MT.  Club member Tim Talen, who has a hangar in Boulder, MT, about 30 miles south of Helena, came to the rescue and arranged for a Boulder friend of his to rent a truck and haul the project to his hangar. 

Tim's is a master restorer who specializes in Interstate Aircraft.  I restored an Interstate Cadet back in the 80's…


Posted on April 12, 2013 at 1:00pm — 4 Comments

Seen on Barnstormers: 1940 PORTERFIELD CP-65 for $25K

FOR SALE • 1940 PORTERFIELD CP-65 Collegiate $25,000 LSA Qualified. First Collegiate 499.9 SMOH. 5519.1 TT. Hangered since restoration in 1967. Flying Airplane. All logs Books available on PDF. Current annual good to 01/31/2014. Located at AJO. Corona municipal airport, CA USA. Telephone: Contact Eric 951-247-9541 • Contact…


Posted on March 3, 2013 at 1:10pm — 1 Comment

Comment Wall (37 comments)

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At 9:29am on May 3, 2021, Steve Ahrens said…

Thank you for the warm welcome Andy. I’m looking forward to doing my tail wheel endorsement with my new bird!

At 5:49pm on April 26, 2021, Robert Ferguson said…

I'm 2005 lbs. and 5ft. 11 inch's a little tight, but with practice no problem.  Okay once in.

At 12:47pm on December 8, 2020, T Doug Stewart said…

Hi Andy. I’ve not received to data pack yet on the 90 Franklin install. Actually I made a error on the engine I’m overhauling for my FP 65. It is actually a 80 hp with starter and generator. I’m hoping to use your data as the basis for this engine. Would also like to get info on other installations of 80 or more hp. The starter and generator do not stick back any further than the mags. I’m thanking one of the small lightweight starters just might work. From my measurements it seems that the gas tank and starter clearance are the issue. Thanks for your help

At 10:22am on November 3, 2020, Carl Gingras said…

Thanks for the welcome. Greg hadn't started on the project yet. He has a bunch of other restorations going on right now so that how I ended up with the project. He is guiding me as this is my first restoration. I currently fly a quicksilver gt400, and this project is a viable means to get into a 2 place aircraft. 

At 1:01pm on October 27, 2020, T Doug Stewart said…
Andy I have a 41 fp65 that I plan to have flying summer 2021. I see you have a Franklin 90 in yours with a one time arc. I just bought a 90 with starter and gen. It will be overhauled to new specs this winter. Can I please get a copy of your STC. It will make it much easier to get mine approved. Thanks in advance
At 1:16pm on May 9, 2020, Allison H. said…

She is a project. I bought her from Jason Algra back in 2015, then immediately had to find a new job. Been concentrating on flight training but 368, also known as Maggie Lou, is never far from my mind. She's housed at the Vintage Flying Museum in Fort Worth, TX. 
I'm really hoping factory drawings are still available. I'm used to working from parts catalogs. 

At 5:06pm on April 2, 2020, David Trost said…

Is there a place where I can find any airworthiness directives for the Colliagiate?

At 4:56pm on April 2, 2020, David Trost said…

Collegiate SN 938 NC37709 We hope to have it ready to fly soon

I will say Hi to Ken for you

At 9:01pm on September 30, 2019, Harry Taggart said…

That Porterfield for sale in Kansas is in a Facebook Airplanes For Sale Group. Doing research on it is what led me to your group. I won't be able to act on anything until Spring at the earliest. Looks like a sweet plane at a good price though.

Small world about the Starlite for sure! I didn't berlong to the Yahoo group. There was another Starlite owner about 40 miles away from me and we always got together at fly-ins around Tennessee. I was not the original builder of mine. I acquired it from a guy who bought it from the builder (who was afraid to fly it) and then promptly ground looped it, collapsing the gear, which drove a wheel through the right wing and hit a runway light with the left wing leading edge.  You, of course, know how close coupled the controls were and you just cannot get heavy handed or heavy footed with a Starlite on the ground. I traded a 1980 Cadillac Eldorado for it, put it back together and had a ball flying it. As you know, Starlites always draw a crowd wherever they go. I took it to Sun 'N Fun twice and eventually sold it to get the Champ.

As for the Starduster, I did not build that one either. The turtledeck (aka 'storage area') was fiberglass. It was a dream to fly and one of the best landing taildraggers I ever flew. But I outgrew it (weight-wise) too quickly.  At 210# I could barely get my hips in and out of the cockpit opening and a parachute was definitely out of the question. My lifelong dream was to own and fly a Stearman. The Starduster was as close as I ever got. No matter. It always put a smile on my face.

I'm looking forward to learning more about the Porterfield from you and your members. Thanks again for adding me.

At 8:08pm on September 30, 2019, Harry Taggart said…

Thanks for the welcome, Andy. I'm more interested in a flight worthy A/C rather than rebuilding. Just looking for now. My center of gravity has "shifted" significantly since my days with the Starlite and Starduster.  I'm 5'10 but close to 250#. I can handle close quarters at the controls. Just concerned about CG problems at this weight. The Porterfield caught my eye due to its close appearance to my Aeronca. This is the first I've ever heard of a Porterfield.


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