Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

Andy Gelston's Comments

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At 10:18pm on April 7, 2024, Brett Lovett said…

Understood.  Just in case it helps, I have been a member of this group in the past, and I'm not sure if my old membership might still be taking up a space.  I believe it was under b.lovett@att.net, but I re-registered because I couldn't get signed into it to update my email address.  (I was also on Chuck Lebrecht's mailing list many years ago.)  If my old account is still here, please feel free to purge it.  

At 9:33am on December 31, 2023, Jacob Noel said…

27259 is now in London OH. Still flying on what it should be 1800ft of grass. 

At 4:04pm on May 20, 2023, David Davis said…

Thanks for adding me to your group Andy! I'm interested in finding a Porterfield as I've lived my entire 53 years in the Kansas City area. A good friend of mine had a project when we were in A&P school but he never finished it before letting it go. Dave

At 5:00am on February 20, 2023, Danny R. Linkous said…

Thank you, Andy.  That certainly clears up some of the mystery about front/rear seat solo flight in the Porterfield.  The airplane I plan to purchase (John Elliott’s Collegiate) has had the little Lycoming 65hp engine replaced with a Continental C-85, which I imagine is heavier.  With John’s help, I’ll be taking a close look at the W&B before I fly her.

At 6:17am on February 19, 2023, Danny R. Linkous said…

Thank you very much, Andy, for welcoming me to the club.  

I have sat in both seats of the Porterfield.  When I sat in the front seat, it reminded me of the two Dehavilland Chipmunks I owned.  The instrument panel in the Chipmunk is very close to your face, also, though not as close as the panel in the Porterfield.  

Regarding solo flight from the front seat…there are pictures and videos online of Porterfields being flown solo from the front and the back seat.  I look forward to learning more about that mystery.

You asked what happened to my DH-1.  I assume you mean my second DHC-1 Chipmunk, which was sold about 18 months ago to an individual who keeps it based on a grass field east of St. Louis. I replaced the Chipmunk with the aircraft that replaced the Chipmunk in  RAF service as a primary trainer, the Scottish Aviation Bulldog.  Nice airplane, but the little wheel in the back isn’t there…they put it up front, under the engine, and made it larger!  Sacrilege!!!  After 18 months of no tailwheel time (and really missing that kind of flying), I started looking for something with a tailwheel that was different from Cubs, Champs, etc.  Since there were no Spitfires on the market at the time (that I could afford), I began searching for a Porterfield.  Happy to say that I found one.

Again, thanks for the welcome.  Looking forward to continuing my education regarding the skinny bird.

At 6:43am on November 10, 2022, Steve Ahrens said…

Hi Andy, is new member James Pollard a hacker?

At 3:08pm on November 7, 2022, NaHeMeKa said…


What'cha mean? Don't all engine heads have to be re-torqued every dozen hours? :)

At 7:50pm on October 21, 2022, Jim Beaumont said…

Thanks, Andy, and thanks for letting me join!

 I know very little about Porterfields and that tip about the Collegiate helps!

At 10:51am on July 5, 2022, Trevor Burns said…

I have a copy of a pilot manual and maintenance manual and that is it so any additional information you might have would be fantastic!

At 10:44am on July 5, 2022, Trevor Burns said…

Thanks a lot! Figured I would have to go that route, not a big deal but it’s always nice to find one on a shelf, one the the struts has some airworthy but ugly repairs which really takes away from the rest of the ground up restoration. 

At 10:22am on July 5, 2022, Trevor Burns said…

Also, is there anyone that might have a replacement front RH wing strut?

At 10:21am on July 5, 2022, Trevor Burns said…

 N27288 S/n 769 I got my A&P in Alaska.

At 8:49am on July 5, 2022, Trevor Burns said…

Thanks Andy,

No, I did not buy Roger’s airplane. I’m finishing the the paperwork for a ground up restoration on a 1940 LP65 that has been converted to a CP65. Not sure that it will make it to Oshkosh, but we shall see. Also, Has anyone put VG’s on a porterfield yet?

At 2:41pm on April 9, 2022, Kenneth Biro said…

Thank you Andy we'll sure do that. We have a 1946 Aeronca Champ for sale with an 0-200 conversion If you know anyone that might be interested. We should have the annual done sometime within the next couple of months.

At 12:55pm on March 15, 2022, Roy Reeves said…

I agree, but did not know the statistic that 1 hour in a glider is better than 10 in a plane.  One of the things that draws me to the Porterfield is the lack of avionics.  As I have said, I loved my Cirrus, it was a great traveling plane, but it is designed to be "managed" not flown.  

I will look for private runway with hanger, had not thought about that as an option - though I don't know where one is around here.  Time to buy a sectional and start making calls I guess.

At 9:38am on March 15, 2022, Roy Reeves said…

Thanks for the info.  The one I am looking at (the one my daughter named "Olive" is the one in TJ Neff has.  Lucky for me, there is one for sale here in Texas - about 2 hours away but that is a lot closer than California.  I can at least get inside one and see if she fits.  My biggest problem, as I just discovered, is hanger space.  I have checked every airport in 40 miles and no one has hanger (not even patio) for rent.  I don't think a tube and fabric plane would hold up outside in Texas.

A CFI I know is also throwing a little ice water on the idea - I get that it does not have Artificial Horizon, VOR, etc.  So?  She can "learn to fly" not "manage" a plane.  My only complaint about the Cirrus I used to own - great traveling plane but it was built for a programer/manager, not a pilot.  

Then I do understand, if my daughter learns to fly by the seat of her pants, she may have trouble transitioning later since avionics are getting more and more complicated and more "legacy" planes are going partial glass.

At 11:32am on March 14, 2022, Roy Reeves said…

Thanks for the information.  I had noticed it is called "skinny bird" never really connected the dots.  There is or was one located about an hour from me, and you say one is in Bryan (as in Aggie-land"?)  I have a few friends who spent 4 years on the wrong side of the river (Sic Em' Bears) but it would be nice to have two Skinny Birds close to me to look into.  

I am only 5'10 and my daughter is shorter than me - but how important is that 180 # thing?  I  wear a 42 jacket, will I feel like I am shoulder to shoulder with the wings?

And it is no secret here, there is a Porterfield in CA that is kinda pretty and it has been available for at least a few months.  Any members here been by to look at it.  Spare engine certainly has my attention - love spare parts - but my daughter named it "Olive" already so I need to get her up close and personal with one of the Skinny Birds here in Texas (anyone in or near TKI willing to take her up for a short ride, I buy gas and lunch afterwards - and all she needs is a quick hop around the patch, no stick time).  Need to see if she still likes the idea after being inside a skinny bird.

Last - wheel pants???  Two that I know of, still need to look at the third, have no pants.  I have seen references to Taylorcraft wheel pants, but have not had time (or the admission to the club) to go searching and since I am writing my first post . . . I am hoping for forgiveness if this is one of those times when I should "look for the search bar".

At 9:21am on March 4, 2022, Bryan Hunt said…

Thanks for the welcome Andy!

I'm close to the 180 (that I can influence)... but have +2" on the height being 6'..  would I not fit at that height?


At 10:21am on March 3, 2022, James H Replogle said…

I have been looking to buy a porterfield for some time now. I am interested in a 35W if I can find one for sale. The owners of these models don't seem to want to part with them which is very understandable. I'll keep an eye out anyway.

At 10:21pm on November 18, 2021, Tim Berridge said…
Thanks Andy!
I was struck by the beauty of the design.
Glad to be here.

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