Photo by Phil
just something about them that makes pilots stop, look, and more often
than not, snap a picture.
biplane is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2008, and seven Hatzes—a
combination of Hatz CB-1, LB-1 Classic, and Bantam—flew into Oshkosh
on Sunday after meeting in Brodhead, Wisconsin, for their annual fly-in
and annual meeting. It’s one of the largest contingents of Hatzes at
EAA AirVenture Oshkosh since 1990 when the group gathered to memorialize
the plane’s builder, who died earlier that year.
the planes, which resemble Wacos, are parked across from the IAC
Aerobatic Center, and two are parked in Row 308 in homebuilt camping.
John Hatz, of Gleason, Wisconsin, designed and built the biplane dubbed
CB-1 and first flew it in 1968.
Hatz wanted to build something that used modern parts but didn’t look
modern," said fellow Hatz owner James Wright of Markleville,
Indiana. The plane resembles a smaller Waco and is fast, efficient, and
like being back in yesteryear," Wright said. He finished his Hatz
of Grinnell, Iowa, agreed. His Hatz Classic was certificated in 2007 and
is making its first AirVenture visit. "I’ve always wanted to
build an airplane, and I’ve always liked biplanes," he said.
"The Hatz resembles the planes of the 1930s or 1940s, yet you can
haul another person and travel fast."
900 Hatz plans have been sold, but no one is quite sure how many are
actually flying, said Kevin Connor, president of the Hatz Biplane
Association. Connor started building his Hatz in 2002 but took three and
a half years off to build a house. He says he’s ready to begin again
on the Hatz, after flying into Oshkosh in a Hatz owned by a friend.
biplanes are located all over the United States, as well as Switzerland,
Canada, and Australia. And one in France flew for the first time just a
week ago, Connor said.
a relatively easy airplane to build, and it’s very nostalgic and easy
to fly," he said.
If you want to find out
more about the plane, you’re in luck. Connor and other Hatz owners
will lead the Hatz Biplane forum today from 5:30 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in
Pavilion 5 in the Forums and Workshops Plaza. Connor especially expects
questions about the Hatz Bantam, the only Hatz that qualifies for the
light-sport aircraft designation.