Porterfield Airplane Club

Keep the Skinny Birds Flying Safely

Share the love of flying, building, and history of the Porterfield Airplane



There are no birthdays today


I don't know if any of you were a member of the "Porterfield Airplane Club" which Chuck Lebrecht hosted for many years. Chuck has decided to give up the Porterfield Club due to health and economic reasons. I've taken it upon myself to keep the legacy going and have started this social web site dedicated to "Keeping the Skinny Birds Flying".

The site will be a good place to share information, pictures, stories, videos, parts, and to create lasting friendships for people with an interest or knowledge of the Porterfield Airplane. I just started getting this site together June 1st, 2009, so there is a limited amount of information. If you have any information to add, please do. If you have parts for sale, help items, technical info, or just want to share your airplane pictures please join us.

Also, if you have any ideas to improve the site, please feel free to comment and/or help build the site. I hope that this site will generate a database for information and history pertaining to the Porterfield Airplanes that may be shared and used by all interested. As well as a place to meet and make life long friends whom share some of the same interests of flying, building, and knowledge of the Porterfield Airplane. If you know any others that may be interested please invite them to join.

Brief History of the Porterfield Airplane

The American Eagle Aircraft Corporation was started in 1925 by Ed Porterfield for the express purpose of providing a safe training aircraft for the fledgling Porterfield Flying School. Porterfield felt that a safer, better performing trainer was badly needed to replace the existing "Jennys" and Lincoln "Standards" being used in his flight school. In April 1926, the American Eagle, Model A-1, first flew from Richards Field in Kansas City, Missouri. The airplane had been designed by Waverly Stearman after much consultation with Porterfield concerning the characteristics necessary for a good training aircraft. It was a three-place, open cockpit bi-plane that was suitable for both training and light commercial activity and was typical of the era. In November, 1927, the OX-5 powered A-1 received an Approved type Certificate - ATC #17. Various changes were made to the original A-1 design (The most notable being the addition of ailerons on the lower wing.) leading to the A-101 designation. Most Eagles were powered with war surplus Curtiss OX-5 engines, but variations were available with the OXX-6, Hisso, Anzani, and others. During may of 1928, production was 12 planes per week with ever increasing orders. In mid-1928 an OX-5 powered A-101 sold for $2815. Approximately 300 of the A-1 / A-101 models were sold.

In 1929, American Eagle brought out a new model, the A-129, which received ATC #124. The new model was very similar to the earlier "Eagles" except that it was powered by a 5-cylinder Kinner K5 engine which required a longer nose on the aircraft to maintain proper balance. This gave rise to the "Eagle" A-1 and A-101 versions being called "shortnose Eagles", and the A-129 Kinner powered model being called the "longnose Eagle" and other such names. The A-129 "Kinner Eagle" would not win any beauty contests, but it was stable and reasonably easy to fly. The A-129 was also sold with several other engine configurations including the OX-5 and OXX-6.

During 1928 and 1929 business was booming for the American Eagle Aircraft Corporation and they produced several other aircraft in addition to the A-101 and A-129. None of these sold as well, but production of the A-201, A-139, A-229, A-329, A-429, as well as several prototypes, placed the company near the top of the vibrant aircraft industry. The stockmarket crash in late 1929 changed all that, and in 1930 the company found almost no market for its aircraft. In desperation, Porterfield started the design that eventually became the American Eaglet monoplane. It was a small, light weight, parasol design that was powered by a three cylinder Szekely radial engine. Although the "Eaglet" sold fairly well, the company was in trouble, and in May 1931, the American Eagle Aircraft Corporation merged with the Lincoln Aircraft Company. The new company was known as the American-Eagle-Lincoln Aircraft Company, and most of the production was focused on the "Eaglet". However, the deepening depression soon ended this last gasp of American Eagle. Ed Porterfield went on in later years to organize the well known Porterfield Airplane Company.

During its six years in existence the American Eagle Aircraft Corporation produced over 700 aircraft and held eight Approved Type Certificates issued by the Department of Commerce. It was the third largest producer of commercial aircraft in the world at the time of the depression, and its products were among the finest private aircraft manufactured during that era.

History from Wings of History Museum.

During the 1930s, the firm of Porterfield Aircraft Corporation, located in Kansas City, was enjoying a modest success with the Model 35 light aircraft - a tandem two-seater built of traditional steel tube fuselage with a wooden wing - all, of course, covered in fabric. The exceedingly slim fuselage sported a variety of engines including the five-cylinder Warner Scarab junior radial of 90-hp. Aimed at the lower-cost sport flying market, the Model 35 could be fitted with various options and numerous paint schemes were available.

As the new four-cylinder opposed powerplants came available, Ed Porterfield modified his basic design a bit to take advantage of these new and reliable engines. The CP-50 retained the standard Porterfield profile but it was fitted with either Franklin, Continental, or Lycoming engines - all of 50-hp. Given the name Collegiate, famed race pilot Roscoe Turner was briefly the sales manager and director of advertising for the new design. Available in variants ranging from a very basic training machine to a more deluxe sports model, over 50 were built before attention was turned to the higher-powered CP-55 and CP-65 models.

Once again, these aircraft were all fitted with opposed engines from the three manufacturers but the airframes were basically similar to the earlier design.
Porterfield never achieved the numerical success of the larger light aircraft manufacturers such as Piper, Aeronca, and Taylorcraft but the planes were well made and popular with pilots. However, with the start of World War Two, light aircraft production for civilian use came to a stop and the bigger companies benefited greatly from military contracts but Porterfield, with no large military orders forthcoming, quietly faded away.

Porterfield 35
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Model 35 Flyabout
Role two-seat cabin monoplane
Manufacturer Porterfield Aircraft Corporation
Designed by Noel Hockaday
First flight 1935
Introduced 1935
Number built 240+

The Porterfield Model 35 Flyabout was an American two-seat cabin monoplane built by the Porterfield Aircraft Corporation of Kansas City.
The aircraft was designed by Noel Hockaday and was built by students at the Wyandotte High School as the Wyandotte Pup. Porterfield Aircraft recognised the potential of the aircraft design and bought the design rights and also the services of Hockaday as works manager and designer. The Pup was developed to appear in 1935 as the Porterfield Model 35 Flyabout a braced high-wing-monoplane. It had a fixed tailskid landing gear and room for two. It was originally powered by a 60hp (45kW) LeBlond 5D radial engine. Variants later appeared with different engine installations and a deluxe model the De Luxe Sport. Over 240 aircraft were built.

Model 35
1935 production variant with a 60hp (45kW) LeBlond 5D radial engine
Model 35-70
1937 production variant with a 70hp (52kW) LeBlond 5DE radial engine.
Model 35-V
Variant powered by a 65hp (48kW) Velie M-5 engine.
Model 35-W (De Luxe Sport)
Luxury model (also known as the Model 90) with a 90hp (67kW) Warner Scarab Junior radial engine.

Specifications (Model 35-70)
Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2760
General characteristics
Crew: 1
Capacity: 1 passenger
Length: 20 ft 3 in (6.17 m)
Wingspan: 32 ft 0 in (9.75 m)
Height: 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Wing area: 147 ft² (13.66 m²)
Empty weight: 806 lb (366 kg)
Gross weight: 1310 lb (594 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × LeBlond 5DE radial piston, 70 hp (52 kW)
Maximum speed: 115 mph (185 km/h)
Range: 360 miles (579 km)
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4570 m)

Porterfield Collegiate
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Role two-seat monoplane trainer
Manufacturer Porterfield Aircraft Corporation
First flight 1936
Introduced 1936
Produced 1936-1941
Number built 400

The Porterfield Collegiate was an American two-seat training monoplane built by the Porterfield Aircraft Corporation of Kansas City.
Developed originally as the Porterfield Zephyr a light-weight version of the earlier Model 35 Flyabout for use a pilot trainer. Powered by a 40hp (30kW) Continental A-40 engine it was later re-designated the Porterfield CP-40. To improve performance the engine was replaced with a 50hp (47kW) Continental A50-4 engine and re-designated the CP-50 Collegiate. It was a braced high-wing monoplane with a tailskid fixed landing gear. Total production was about 400 when production stopped in 1941 at the start of American involvement in the Second World War. A number of variants were produced with different engine installations.

CP-40 Zephyr
Original 40hp version
Improved production variant with a 1935 production variant with a 50hp (47kW) Continental A50-4 engine
Revised engine cowling
Powered by a 65hp (48kW) Continental A65-8/9 engine.
Powered by a 60hp (45kW) Franklin 4AC-171-A1 engine.
Powered by a 65hp (48kW) Franklin 4AC-176-B29 engine.
Powered by a 50hp (37kW) Avco Lycoming O-145-A1 engine.
Powered by a 55hp (41kW) Avco Lycoming O-145-A3 engine.
Powered by a 65hp (48kW) Avco Lycoming O-145-B1/B2 engine.
Specifications (CP-65)
Data from The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982-1985), 1985, Orbis Publishing, Page 2760
General characteristics
Crew: 2
Length: 22 ft 8 in (6.91 m)
Wingspan: 34 ft 9 in (10.59 m)
Height: 6 ft 11 in (2.11 m)
Wing area: 168.80 ft² (15.68 m²)
Empty weight: 671 lb (304 kg)
Gross weight: 1160 lb (526 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Continental A65-8/9 flat-four piston engine, 65 hp (48 kW)
Maximum speed: 108 mph (174 km/h)
Range: 300 miles (483 km)
Service ceiling: 15,000 ft (4570 m)

High Flight

Oh, I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there,
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.
Up, up the long, delirious burning blue,
I've topped the windswept heights with easy grace
Where never lark, or even eagle flew.
And, while with silent, lifting mind I've trod
The high untresspassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee, Jr


Perry's Porterfield Parts proffered on Barnstormers 1 Reply

Started by Andy Gelston. Last reply by Dennis Biro Jul 20.

Oshkosh Bound

Started by Andy Gelston Jul 18.

8081 (N37733) in her new home 4 Replies

Started by Steve Ahrens. Last reply by Mark Jun 16.

Joe Rankin 1 Reply

Started by Mark. Last reply by Andy Gelston Jun 13.

Carb Heat Box for CP-65 1 Reply

Started by Carl Gingras. Last reply by Andy Gelston May 20.

Serial Numbers 5 Replies

Started by Steve Ahrens. Last reply by Andy Gelston May 20.

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

Started by Andy Gelston. Last reply by Steve Ahrens May 13.

American Eaglet 1 Reply

Started by Bill Skinner. Last reply by Andy Andraka May 1.

Collegiate at Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome

Started by Andy Gelston Mar 15.

Looking for drawings 4 Replies

Started by Bryant Chambers. Last reply by Bryant Chambers Feb 11.

Florida Flyabout on Ebay 1 Reply

Started by Andy Gelston. Last reply by Andy Gelston Dec 16, 2020.

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

Started by Andy Gelston Nov 17, 2020.

N34711, s/n 877, ‘41 FP-65 8 Replies

Started by Andy Gelston. Last reply by Andy Gelston Oct 2, 2020.

Another Porterfield Saved and Flying! 1 Reply

Started by Mark Mondello. Last reply by Andy Gelston Oct 2, 2020.

Blog Posts

@ Oshkosh ‘21

Posted by Andy Gelston on July 25, 2021 at 8:36am

37-70 , N17027

Posted by Paul Workman on December 2, 2020 at 8:35am — 2 Comments

AD's on wing struts

Posted by Victor Briley on October 15, 2020 at 3:22pm — 1 Comment

Restoration Continued

Posted by Bryant Chambers on August 3, 2020 at 6:30pm — 4 Comments

Porterfield Club Newsletters

Posted by Bill Skinner on July 13, 2020 at 12:51pm — 3 Comments

A Tribute to My Dad

Posted by Bill Skinner on July 10, 2020 at 7:44am — 1 Comment

need fairleads for 1940 Collegiate

Posted by Victor Briley on June 29, 2020 at 3:06pm — 21 Comments

FP-65 Motor Mount

Posted by Bob Hayden on June 2, 2020 at 1:17pm

LP 65 to C85 Conversion

Posted by john elliott on April 27, 2020 at 5:39pm — 6 Comments

N37716 Begins her restoration

Posted by kevin feauto on January 25, 2020 at 4:47pm — 4 Comments

For Sale Lycoming 65 plus mount

Posted by john elliott on December 12, 2019 at 1:23pm — 4 Comments

Are there any Collegiates in Michigan?

Posted by Victor Briley on September 18, 2019 at 9:42am — 1 Comment

Need fuselage drawing for LP/CP65

Posted by john elliott on March 19, 2019 at 7:04pm — 6 Comments

New Member looking for Lycoming 145 Parts

Posted by john elliott on March 4, 2019 at 11:53am — 2 Comments

Need steel channel to repair rudder on 1940 CP50

Posted by Victor Briley on February 20, 2019 at 12:22pm — 1 Comment

G-AFZL in the wars again

Posted by Steve Sharpe on October 24, 2017 at 5:31am — 3 Comments

Aircraft For Sale

Rare LSA Porterfield Makes Second Oshkosh Visit

By Randy Dufault

Dave Reichard wasn’t looking for a rare airplane when he began searching for a plane to exercise his newly minted sport pilot certificate in. At the time, an Aeronca Champ seemed like the logical choice since that was his mount for most of his training.

A for-sale listing changed that decision.

“I have a friend who looks at all the antique listings,” Dave said. “He told me one day, ‘Hey Dave, there’s a Porterfield for sale.’ And I said to him the same thing that everyone says to me when I say I have a Porterfield, ‘What’s a Porterfield?’”

A trip to a private airstrip in Kentucky followed, and Dave purchased the plane.

“My friend that told me about it has lots of tailwheel time in lots of different types. A friend who is my mechanic and is an IA and I went down … and we checked it out,” Dave said.

After some back and forth over the paperwork, Dave paid for the craft. Test flights demonstrated it had no bad tendencies and was a sweet-flying airplane.

A 7.3-hour cross-country effort brought the plane here to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2017 from its current home in the Dayton, Ohio, area. Eighty mph cruise speeds, and a particularly short range, make such trips a lengthy affair.

Dave last brought the plane to Oshkosh in 2014, shortly after he purchased it.

“In 2014, I met several other Porterfield owners, and one of them told me that there were 24 flying examples in the world,” Dave said. “A fellow I met this past [weekend] has one that’s bent, so there might only be 23 right now.”

“I have not met another Porterfield owner, except online or at AirVenture,” he added. “I’ve not seen another Porterfield [airplane].”

Porterfield built airplanes for a short period before World War II, and this LP65 (Lycoming powered) model was one of its last efforts. A tornado damaged this particular craft in the 1970s, and, according to Dave, it spent nearly 30 years of its 77-year life not flying. Restoration eventually happened, and the completed project appeared in the September 2008 issue of EAA’s Vintage Airplane magazine.

All Porterfield models are compliant, type-certificated light-sport aircraft.

Dave has added about 100 hours, half of his total time as a pilot, to the LP65 since he purchased it. He enjoys bringing it to fly-in events around the Dayton area, and is always ready and willing to answer the “What is it?” question.

“That’s what happens when you own a rare airplane,” Dave said.

Latest Activity

Andy Gelston posted a blog post

@ Oshkosh ‘21

So far, no Porterfields...there’s a replica of a Rearwin Sportster, though. I don’t think that counts, though, but still, she's here and she’s upstaging us. The old Porterfield/Rearwin rivalry is alive & well!
Jul 25
Dan Roose left a comment for Andy Gelston
"Hi Andy, Thanks for letting me join you all. Looking forward to finding an aircraft at some point, a Flyable one first with a project a little later. "
Jul 24
Dennis Biro commented on Bryant Chambers's blog post Restoration Continued
"I can remberd making that same cowling by hand, there was a lot of pounding on the aluminum with a wood and then a rubber hammer, bacteria several hours on this project, I found that I was short on one end, the story of my life! The only thing to do…"
Jul 20
Dennis Biro replied to Andy Gelston's discussion Perry's Porterfield Parts proffered on Barnstormers
"What parts do you carry for Porterfield aircraft, I am looking for one to restore, righter a 35W or a 40,41 Porterfield aircraft.  Thank you dennis Dennis Biro, Bloomington, Indiana "
Jul 20
Andy Gelston posted a discussion

Oshkosh Bound

I'll be there, but 41VT won't.  The Franklin 90 has a chipped exhaust valve and I ran out of time to get it replaced, so I'm driving the wee Echo and the old gal will again languish in her hangar instead of again making the sojourn to Wisconsin.Anyone flying their Porterfield into Wittman Field next week?AndySee More
Jul 18
Andy Gelston left a comment for Dan Roose
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Dan!  There are plenty of projects needing to get airborne out there and plenty of info here to help you along with it.  If you're taller than 6' and weight more than 180#, it's…"
Jul 18
Dan Roose is now a member of Porterfield Airplane Club
Jul 18
Andy Gelston left a comment for Patrick Walker
"Welcome to our wee club for the skinny birds, Patrick!  You should get together with another professional keyboardist, from south central New Hampshire: Jeff Rapsis, who is also the director of the NH Aviation Museum.  Jeff plays piano to…"
Jun 20
Patrick Walker is now a member of Porterfield Airplane Club
Jun 20
Mark replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion 8081 (N37733) in her new home
"Hi Steve, the Bendix mags have only been on the engine about 75 hours. There hasn’t been any problems with them at all. I had to pull the engine back in early May and sent it to Georgia to get overhauled. They can’t call it an overhaul…"
Jun 16
Steve Ahrens replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion 8081 (N37733) in her new home
"Thanks Mark! Currently the left mag is an Eiseman and the right mag is a borrowed Bendix, because the Eiseman packed up. I’m looking at the Slick conversion kit K4334, but trying to find a kit with mags that aren’t subjected to to a…"
Jun 16
Mark replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion 8081 (N37733) in her new home
"That’s great! It’s nice she has a low wing hanger partner to keep her company. Did it still have the Eisemann mags? Our Continental did and they were problematic. Cliff at Aircraft Magneto Service informed us no one would  work on…"
Jun 15
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."
Jun 13
Mark posted a discussion

Joe Rankin

Hello, while going through the owner history of our Porterfield NC 27249, I see that it was owned for a brief period in 1956 by John W Rankin of New Castle Delaware. It made me curious as to whether he was related to Joe Rankin the owner of the type certificate. It’s amazing to me how many owners there were over the years of our bird. At one point in 1944 it was on by the Defense Plant Corporation Washington DC.See More
Jun 13
Joseph M. Vulgamore and Bryant Chambers are now friends
Jun 9
Tom Porterfield replied to Steve Ahrens's discussion 8081 (N37733) in her new home
"Congratulations Steve. It's looking good"
Jun 7
Steve Ahrens posted a discussion

8081 (N37733) in her new home

I finally got my new bird home yesterday, June 6th, which is the anniversary of it’s first flight in 1941. I had to have a borrowed right mag fitted to complete the journey while I wait for the Slick kit, but at least it’s home.See More
Jun 7
Tom Porterfield left a comment for Dennis Biro
"Welcome Dennis to our Porterfield Airplane Club Online. Feel free to post pictures of the Porterfield you have restored. Any tips you have would be greatly appreciated."
Jun 3
Dennis Biro is now a member of Porterfield Airplane Club
Jun 3
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

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