EAA AirVenture Oshkosh - The World's Greatest Aviation Celebration

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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedPietenpol Air Camper Turns 80
Flight to Oshkosh, special activities planned for AirVenture

Bernard Pietenpol's 1933 Air Camper is the centerpiece of EAA's Pietenpol Hangar at Pioneer Airport.

In the late 1920s, Bernard Pietenpol, of Cherry Grove, Minnesota, had the dream of designing an inexpensive homebuilt airplane using commonly available materials and powered by an auto engine. The result, after a few iterations, was a simple, two-place open cockpit airplane of wood construction and powered by a four-cylinder Ford Model A automobile engine. Eighty years later, the Pietenpol Air Camper endures as a popular homebuilt design built, loved, and flown by thousands of aviation enthusiasts the world over.

EAA will honor Pietenpol's time-tested, low-and-slow airplane at AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. Bill Rewey of Verona, Wisconsin, EAA 42474, is helping organize a gathering of Air Camper builders, pilots, and planes to participate in the celebration.

"Right now we're talking about flying up from Brodhead (Wisconsin) on Sunday morning (July 26) in autonomous groups of five," said Rewey, a member of the Brodhead Pietenpol Association type club, which convenes its reunion there the weekend before Oshkosh. "We are also encouraging those with radios to use the regular Fisk approach." Arriving Air Campers will have reserved parking south of Homebuilders Headquarters near the old main entry arch.

Rewey will also change the format of his annual Pietenpol forum, traditionally held on Tuesday morning during AirVenture. "Instead of my traditional discussion of the airplane, we'll have individual builders attend and spend a few moments each talking about their airplanes," he said.

Also being planned some time during AirVenture is a special reception for builders and Air Camper pilots at EAA's Pietenpol Hangar on Pioneer Airport. On display there is Bernard's own N12937, which was built in 1933 and is considered the oldest Air Camper in existence.

EAA further honors the Air Camper this year by depicting the airplane on the "I Flew My Homebuilt" patch given to all homebuilders registering at Homebuilt Headquarters.

Look for more information as events and activities are confirmed at www.AirVenture.org. Pietenpol owners wishing to participate at Oshkosh should visit the Brodhead Pietenpol Association website, www.pietenpols.org.

Pietenpol Air Camper - Specifications
Length: 17 ft, 8 in
Wingspan: 29 ft 0 in
Height: 6.5 ft 6 in
Wing area: 145 sq ft
Empty weight: 620 lbs
Max takeoff weight: 1,040 lbs
Powerplant: Original - Ford Model A. (Others include Velie, Kinner, Lycoming, Franklin, Continental, and Chevy Corvair)
Maximum speed: 86 knots (100 mph)
Stall speed: 30 knots (35 mph)
Rate of climb: 500 ft/min


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