The Biplane Forum > General Discussion > Hangar Talk > "The end of Spruce spar stock"

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Old 12-07-2017, 11:44 PM   #76
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Don’t forget the prime motivator in 1931-32. Hunger. The Great Depression was real and these guys were after something to eat. The Z was built in 5 weeks. 4500 man hours in 5 weeks. They had about 15-20 people working on it for not much more than food and a place to sleep. The Z went to Cleveland and entered 5 races. It won all 5 races and took home $18,000 in prize money. That’s just under $300k today. Not a bad haul.

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Old 12-08-2017, 02:14 AM   #77
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OT I guess but related. I wonder if we can imagine how big air racing was then? My dad was 15 in 1932. All he wanted for Christmas 1931 was to go to the National Air Races in 32. My grand dad was to busy to go but he let my uncle @ 17 borrow the car and take dad and two neighbor kids to Cleveland. Dad said meeting Jimmy Doolittle was the high point in his life.

The rest of the story was he didn't meet him in 1932 but during WW2 when Col. Doolittle made a visit to the radio school dad ran at Scott Field.

Finished Spezio Tu-holer N92JM(Oct. 2011), AcroDuster 2- SA750 N22JM, first flight 12-14-15
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Old 12-09-2017, 08:36 PM   #78
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One of the Fly Baby crew stopped by the Aircraft Spruce offices in Georgia this week. He reports that spar stock greater than 16 foot long, 6" wide is difficult to find, but they can fill orders for smaller pieces easily. Fly Babies use a 3/4" thick, 6" wide, 13-foot front spar, he said they had enough in stock for a half-dozen Fly Babies. The ACS rep also noted that, beyond occasional spot shortages, they anticipate no problems finding spar stock in the future.

Other than the usual worries about pricing due to lack of competition, it sounds like production of the traditional homebuilts shouldn't be affected.

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Old 12-10-2017, 12:21 AM   #79
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Good to hear, thanks Ron

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