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EAA AirVenture Today is published by the Experimental Aircraft Association for EAA AirVenture from July 27 - August 3. It is distributed free on the convention grounds as well as other locations in Oshkosh and surrounding communities. Stories and photos are copyrighted 2008 by EAA AirVenture Today and EAA. Reproduction by any means is prohibited without written consent.

  

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The official daily newspaper of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh


Volume 9, Number 4 July 30, 2008     

Affordable Flying Center featured aircraft: Pietenpol Air Camper
By Dana Heimos

Among the earliest — and still most-affordable homebuilt designs at the Affordable Flying Center — is the Pietenpol Air Camper, originally a Ford Model A-powered design capable of accommodating a number of other, more common engines. Photo by Dave Higdon

The Pietenpol Air Camper is a two-place, tandem seat, open cockpit, plans-built monoplane. Bernard Pietenpol designed the plane so that the average person in the 1930s could build and fly it from almost any off-airport field, as well as construct it with a minimum of tools. The Air Camper can typically be purchased used or built for under $10,000.

"The Pietenpol Air Camper represents the root of EAA–simple, affordable flying that can be done by almost anyone," said Ron Wagner, manager of EAA field relations and chief coordinator of the Affordable Flying Center. "The Air Camper can be easily modified by builders, allowing for versatility with cost and materials."

The Air Camper has some interesting design features. Because of the downward thrust of the propeller (the engine angles downward 5 degrees), the plane has a short/slow take-off run and landings are light on wheels. The beauty of the Air Camper design is that except for engine changes, more than 60 different engines have been adapted for use on the airplane; the basic plans behind the firewall do not need to change.

William Rewey of Verona, Wisconsin, built the Pietenpol Air Camper parked at the Affordable Flying Center. Rewey is considered one of the nation’s leading authorities of the Pietenpol Air Camper. For more information on this airplane, visit the Affordable Flying Center, located in the former NASA Pavilion adjacent to AirVenture’s Honda Forums Plaza and the Workshops Plaza (Box #46 on the map).

About the center
The Affordable Flying Center at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 was designed to address one of the biggest hurdles facing many pilots (and would-be pilots): how to keep the passion for flying within a reasonable budget. Located in the former NASA Pavilion adjacent to AirVenture’s Honda Forums Plaza and the Workshops Plaza, the Affordable Flying Center brings together much of the knowledge and information available throughout the AirVenture grounds in one place.

The center features a mini forums area, indoor displays, and examples of standard category aircraft such as the Taylorcraft, Piper Colt/Tri-Pacer, etc. that can provide an economical pathway to flight. EAA’s staff of experts and volunteers will also answer questions and provide information to those seeking a less expensive way to pursue their aviation passion.

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