Starduster History

Discussion in 'Historical Biplane Forum' started by Dave Baxter, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. Dec 28, 2016 #1

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    I have talked with Beej about posting this, and am attempting to do so with his blessings..

    First of all I would like to ask anyone that has pictures magazine articles or information about Lou Stolp or any of the Starduster Line of aircraft to share it with me via postal or E-Mail

    First printing: October, 1986
    .. Current Rewrite Nov 2016
    About 1985 several of us were sitting around during one of the Starduster Fly-Ins at Flabob airport in southern calif, and the subject came up of just how many Starduster Toos had been built finished and flown?

    As a Former employee of Stolp Aircraft and at the time building a Starduster Too, it then became my quest to answer this question. I placed ads in several aviation publications, Sport Aviation, Kit Planes and Starduster Magazine, asking for details pictures W&B colorful pilots, interesting and unusual incidents that pilots may have experienced. From this I received over 100 responses, some with just a photo and basic information on the back, to a three or four page letter and more.


    Bill Clouse, the owner of Starduster Corp at the time, in Starduster Magazine made the comment I think he is going to write a book? This generated a lot of interest at the time as many wanted a copy. Originally all I had planned on doing was collecting as many N, Numbers as possible with some brief information and history about the airplane and then print it up. This quickly morphed into a significant endeavor with well over 100 pages in its first printing, as I could not write about the airplane without including so much more.
    1

    STARDUSTER HISTORY INDEX
    The History of the Starduster Too 3. How I Became Involved with Stardusters 5. The People I Worked With 6. The Starduster SA-100 10. The Starduster Too SA-300 14. Additional Information About the Authors Starduster Too 20. Wonderful Things Happen to You When You Own a Starduster 24. Building the Airplane 29. Flying and Performance 32. Aerobatics 35. Weight and Balance 40. Starduster Too Accidents and Incidents 45. The Owners and Builders 53. Award Winners Magazine Covers 69. Starduster Open House Flabob May 1993 79. Oshkosh – Wautoma 40 miles West of Oshkosh 79. Current Number of Starduster Toos 80. Starduster Corporation Today 82. North to Alaska in a Starduster Oscar Bayer 85. Japanese Starduster Too 90. Service Bulletins, Plan Changes Engine Mount Landing Gear 94. The Starlet SA-500 102. The Company Acroduster Too SA-750 N750X 104. The Super Starduster SA-101 single-place 106. References and Credits 107. Starduster Cutaway 110.
    2

    THE HISTORY OF THE STARDUSTER TOO
    A history of this airplane cannot be written without some history of the man who designed it. Lou Stolp loves biplanes. Anyone who has seen a Starduster certainly knows that. Many older pilots are able to associate the 1930's with the depression, air racing and biplane fighters of the day. Lou, like many others from his generation, grew up during this era and was heavily influenced by it.
    He was the kid who rode his bike to the airport just to be around airplanes, and worked for several years without pay so he could learn the trade. Many of us started out the same way. But unlike some of us, he put it to good use. During WW II he was a flight engineer and tail gunner on B-17's and B-25's, the B-25 was his favorite and late in the war and after actually got some stick time.

    There is a link in timeless voices of EAA that has him on video talking about his experiences at the end and after the war with the B-25.

    http://www.eaavideo.org/video.aspx?v=791955853001

    In the 50s' he worked with George Adams at Compton, California on many different aircraft and related projects. They had a shop where they helped people with owner assisted annuals long before this was a popular thing. They called the place Stolp Adams Co Self Service Repair Station, it was located in hanger number seven.

    https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&hl=en&q=Stolp+Adams+Aircraft+Repair+Station

    One other thing they were involved in was Plexiglas. They were some of the first to offer Plexiglas windshields and side windows as well as canopies for most of the popular light aircraft at the time as well as several Warbirds. This is where N70P the first Starduster was born, designated SA 100. The "S" stands for Stolp and the "A" was for Adams. Although George Adams was involved, with the single place Starduster, he was not involved at all with the Starduster Too or later designs.
    However, the "SA" stuck, and all Starduster aircraft still bear the "SA" which now stands for Stolp Aircraft, this designation precedes the design number. In early 1959, Lou moved from Compton to Corona, California and opened a shop of his own at the local airport, Called Stolp Aircraft.

    This is where, in the early sixties, the Starduster Too stopped being an idea and became a reality, many of his friends had encouraged him to design and build a two place version of his little biplane. And was where the first Starduster Too N94505 was born. Lou has that certain something: the knack; the eye for the right lines. As that old saying goes, "If it looks good, it will probably fly good." Most new airplane designs are usually a copy and compromise of existing airplanes from the past, with some new ideas thrown in. Lou has the ability to take what he thinks are the best of these things and put them together in the right package and proportion.

    The large spinner with stars on it, the Comanche nose bowl, the elliptical trailing edge of the wing, The flying and landing wire arrangement, the sweeping and form fitting spat type landing gear fairings and wheel covers, the head and shoulders curved turtle back, along with the shape and outline of the tail - all this makes a beautiful modern-day biplane with airplane sex appeal and all of the curves in the right place.
    3
    All of this makes it hard to believe, that it was named after an obscure comic strip that existed back in the 50s, and only for a short time in southern calif of a vacuum cleaner in that comic strip called "The Starduster!" Lou was a practical builder, who demonstrated excellent design and workmanship in his airplanes but didn't have the need to be overly detailed. I remember a conversation during the late 60s of a builder from the Midwest who came to see Lou, and this fellow followed him around asking questions all day.
    Finally he asked Lou just how close did he have to get everything in order to build an airworthy Starduster. This guy was hanging on his every word. So Lou told him with a straight face, anything up to and including a quarter-inch either way was good enough. The guy almost had a heart attack! As for Lou himself, his great personality, charm and willingness to help anyone, or answer their questions made him very pleasant to work for. Had Lou not been blessed with these qualities, his airplane designs probably would have still been popular, but certainly his phenomenal success with this airplane at the time was helped by his personality. In the late 60s Lou Stolp purchased land around Redlands airport wanting to build a big maintenance hanger as well as a number of T hangers, by the early 70s this was coming along very well, but he needed more financial help, requiring him to sell the business,

    “Stolp Aircraft” to Jim Osborne. Who renamed the business Stolp Starduster Corperation. In the mid eighties after retiring as airport manager for Redlands airport. Lou returned to Flabob the small airport where this airplane called home, and although not connected with Starduster Corporation any more, he was doing welding, plexiglass work and had several airplanes he was building working on, or restoring for others. His idea at the time was to build a replica of a 1930's Boeing F-4B4 biplane fighter, a type which influenced him so greatly as a young man. He also had plans for building a Curtiss Sparrow Hawk biplane and was also thinking about a VW powered biplane that would have been called the "Feather Duster."

    This design later became the SA-900 V-Star. The single place Starduster, the Starduster Too, Starlet, and "V" Star aircraft were all designed by Lou Stolp. The Super Starduster Too N5462 was a joint effort between Lou, Jim Osborne and Morgan (Bud) Schrack and this airplane went on to become the prototype for the SA-750 Acroduster Too. Jim Osborne was also the principal designer of the SA-700 & 700X the single place Acroduster. Bill Clouse, with Dick and Tom Green were the designers of the single place SA-101 Super Starduster.
    4

    HOW I BECAME INVOLVED WITH BUILDING AIRPLANES AND STARDUSTERS

    Having grown up gone to school, and taken my first airplane ride at Flabob airport in Riverside Calif. I believe it was in an Aircoupe with
    Nugg Madariaga Flavio's brother at the ripe old age of 11 or 12 around 1955? About 1961 on my birthday I told my wife I was going to take some
    flying lessons. I had gone to the same airport Flabob, and it was only natural that I took these first lessons with Flavio Madariaga, who passed me
    off to Jane La Mar that had been a WWII WASP, and a flight instructor, mostly in a C-140 and a PA-11.
    Being interested in flying since I was a little kid led me to a student license by age 21, and a private license by age 25. At the time I did not realize a person could actually build
    their own airplane. I had building Hot Rods as a student pilot during the early 60s and one day stopped by Lou's hanger.

    This was about 1966 not long after he had moved from Corona Calif over to Flabob airport in Riverside Calif. I was admiring his single place Starduster N2314C, and he was admiring my 29 Model A touring Car, it had a big block ford and American Mags.

    Like so many prospective builders I felt I didn't have the talent or ability to build and airplane. But Lou said hell if you can build a Hot Rod like that, you should be able to build an airplane with no problem!
    So after spending some time around Flabob, I soon discovered that it wasn't as hard or as daunting as I thought! All you had to do was bite the bullet and get started, Oh! So naive. After seeing what could be done, and being around people like Lou Stolp, Clayton Stevens, Margret Richey, Ed Marquart Art Scholl and Ray Stits, I thought all airports were like this, and had been encouraged by the best, that anyone could build an airplane.

    So early in 1966, started working on a single place Marquart biplane called the MA-4 Lancer. I started building this airplane prior to going to work for Lou. Two airplane builders I had been hanging around with, later to become my good friends, and mentors Bill Clark and Max Clover, had already built Marquart biplanes and convinced me it was the way to go. So I bought the plans serial #10 from Ed Marquart, some good hardware parts and pieces, ribs material and tubing from Rex Mears,who had built the first MA-4.

    Had I known I would eventually be working for Lou Stolp, I'm sure I would have gone the single place Starduster route. But at the time it seemed like a deal I couldn't pass up. Aren't they all! The airplane was later finished and registered as N4521, and is still in existence although now with a different N Number, and currently owned by a corporate pilot in MN that is restoring it, that also has a two place MA-5 Charger.
    In the course of working on this airplane and buying material, I got to know Lou Stolp. It wasn't long after this that he offered me a job as a welder. I still don't know whether it was because he thought I could do the job or because I lived in west Riverside and just around the corner from Flabob. I was young and learning, so Lou took the time to teach me many of the mechanical wonders of aircraft construction, and in particular about biplanes. That is why my first airplane ended up with some obvious Starduster looks, the Comanche nose bowl and the Starduster head and shoulders turtle back Lou sold me an engine, it was a O-235 C1B lycoming for $400.00 bucks as well as all the instruments.

    This is where I built and welded my first aluminum fuel tank, it was for my airplane and looked more like a rain bird lawn sprinkler than a fuel tank it took a lot of extra welding to finally make into a serviceable tank
    5

    Lou Stolp Army Airforce 2.jpg

    Lou Stolp Army Airforce 3.jpg

    Lou Stolp Army Airforce.jpg

    SAVE0003 small.jpg

    29 Model A 2.jpg

    29 Model A.jpg

    MA-4  2smallJPG.jpg

    Jane La Mar At Flabob.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  2. Dec 28, 2016 #2

    will moffitt

    will moffitt

    will moffitt

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    A good read.

    Thanks

    will
     
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  3. Dec 28, 2016 #3

    planebuilder

    planebuilder

    planebuilder

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    Thanks for posting this Dave! I love to keep learning the history. Hope you had a good Christmas, Happy New Year!
     
  4. Dec 28, 2016 #4

    TFF1

    TFF1

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    Love the car!
     
  5. Dec 28, 2016 #5

    mreinh3233

    mreinh3233

    mreinh3233

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    The Starduster and B 25 are two of my favorite airplanes.
     
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  6. Dec 29, 2016 #6

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    During the time I worked for Lou, the second prototype two-place Starduster, N1300S, was constructed, and in my opinion was one of the most beautiful biplanes ever built. I use to have to push it and N2341C in and out of the hanger each day so that we would have room to work in the shop!

    Morgan "Bud" Schrack also built one of the first Starduster Too's N5461 to fly and it was a beautiful airplane also, which he finished and flew at Flabob for the first time. (I made the mistake of telling him that Lou's airplane looked better than his and as a result it took me over a year to finally get a ride in Morgan's airplane.) I never made that mistake again.

    I worked for Lou about two and a half years in the late 60's, working with such people as Joy Stolp, Glen Beets, Bill Hill, Harry Wellington, Don Smith, and George Rice

    THE PEOPLE I WORKED WITH

    I would like to say a few words about each of these individuals:

    JOY STOLP

    Lou's wife is one of the nicest, kindest human beings I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and working with. She worked and helped with everything around Starduster and never complained. She was and is a pleasant and attractive person. Much of the credit for this airplane ever coming into existence is because of her. The support she gave Lou at that time and the fact that they were still together after these many years speaks for itself.

    GLENN BEETS

    Glenn was a prime factor in the success of Starduster in the early years. He did much of the work on the two prototype Starduster Too's, N94505 and N1300S. He learned to fly prior to WW II and was a USAAF Flight Instructor. He later flew P-51's in the Pacific. Glenn came to Starduster in the early sixties, working for Lou at Corona, California. This is where the first Starduster Too, N94505, was built.
    Glenn spent many hours of his own time working on that airplane. When Lou moved from Corona to Riverside, Glenn naturally went with him. This is where I first met Glenn. He is very quiet and reserved, and is blessed with more talents than any one man should have. He was one of the best welders I have ever known.
    During the construction of N1300S, three people worked almost night and day. As I remember, Lou borrowed some reasonably finished wings from George Rice and he, Glenn, Harry Wellington, and Bill Hill worked full time building the fuselage, tail, cabane, landing gear, and finished painting and flying it for the first time in less than six months!
    I remember on several occasions coming to work in the morning only to find Glenn asleep under the airplane, he had been there all night.
    I also remember Glenn trying to fly the time off on the airplane so it would be ready to go to Rockford.
    The airplane was built for Lou, who was over six feet tall. Glenn, who is about 5' 4", and doing most of the flying, had a little trouble reaching the rudder and brake pedals. I also remember after one of those exceptionally long flights Glenn ended up cold and cramped and upon landing got credit for one confirmed kill on a runway, light which also resulted in damage to one of the wheel covers.
    I also remember helping him repair it.
    6

    After the time was flown off, the airplanes were made ready for Rockford with Harry Wellington towing a trailer with the new single place Purple Starlet N501S, behind his truck, Lou and George Rice in N1300S Starduster Too, and Glenn flying N2314C the single place Starduster.
    George was at one time a flight instructor, and he did the flight planning for the trip, securing the maps, plotting the course, and figuring the fuel stops this was all before the loran or GPS. Everything went well until around Arizona where many of the carefully secured and plotted maps ended up being pulled out of the cockpit and into the slip stream.

    As the flight progressed, George wanted Lou to go in what he thought was the right direction but which was in fact the wrong way. Glenn knew the right way as he had flown over most of this country numerous times while instructing during WW II.
    Eventually he convinced Lou and George to follow him. The rest of the flight was relatively uneventful. Arriving at Rockford with the Starlet, the Starduster and Starduster Too, they became quite a hit with the home-building crowd. On the trip home, they had to leave the airplanes at Banning, California because of weather.
    Later someone asked Lou how the weather was on their return trip and he said it wasn't bad at all, and they hadn't flown very low under the weather, but did remember seeing a sign along highway 60 that said, “29 miles to Indio”!

    Glenn was an asset to the business, but in the late 60's left Starduster Corporation and started his own small business welding components for Stardusters and other homebuilt aircraft. Glenn's hangar was #4 at Flabob, and was at one time known as the Rockford of the West.

    Glenn also designed his own airplane, the Glenn Beets Special or GB-1, a high wing parasol which looked and performed very well, with a geared VW engine for power. In the mid 70's was offered a Fixed Base Operation and airport managers job at Kingman, Arizona.
    I'm not sure whether it was the job or the fishing, for you see Glenn loved to go fishing on the Colorado River more than anything, and this is where he lived for many years, Glenn passed on in the early 90s.

    BILL HILL

    Bill and I got involved in airplanes at about the same time. He started restoring actually a total rebuild of Travelair 4000 biplane during the mid 1960's. He also worked for Ray Stits, and after Lou moved to FlaBob, Bill came to work for him. Bill was very talented in wood working and welding. Although he was not directly involved in the Starduster Too, he was a tremendous help in the day-to-day operations of Starduster.
    Like when everyone else went to Rockford, Joy, Bill and I stayed at FlaBob and continued to take care of business. Bill probably welded as many fuel tanks as I did, as I succeeded him as the tig welder.

    Bill also was involved in doing the major work on a full scale Sopwith Triplane it was built for Earl Taven and was named after Collingshaw's Black Maria this airplane was later lost in the San Diego Air Museum at Balboa park that burned down back during the 80s.
    Bill left Starduster and started his own business building parts for and working on homebuilt aircraft, a little of everything and also did a lot of work on Skybolts his shop is located at the Banning, California airport and he is still there today.

    7
    HARRY WELLINGTON

    Harry was much like Glenn; talented and quiet. He was a diesel truck mechanic by trade, and very interested in aircraft. So much so that he designed and built his own two-place open cockpit biplane N2312C called the Wellington Pup. We used to kid him about it by telling everyone it was a British design and with a name like that, they would believe you.

    It was a little bigger than a Starduster Too, and originally powered by a Kinner, later was re powered with a 220 Continental, which is still on FAA registration with a current valid airworthiness certificate!
    Several years after I left Starduster, a strange thing happened about 1972, I was working in the State of Washington as a service rep for the fire engine co and stopped for gas in Tacoma on the tide flats.
    Harry stopped at the same station and at the same time. I was going to Seattle and he had come from Alaska he was pulling a trailer with his airplane dissembled! Talk about chance meetings! I hadn’t seen him since but heard he had passed away years ago.
    I only remember working together and sharing a hangar, and that he was once president of EAA Chapter #1. His airplane was once owned by someone from Shellville, Sonoma Valley airport in northern California and is currently registered with a valid airworthy certificate to someone in Texas.

    DON SMITH

    I don't remember too much about Don, as he only worked for Lou a short time. I know he was a good mechanic fabricator and pilot. His father designed the Smith miniplane N90P, and I remember him doing some very nice slow rolls on take off with it. The airplane has now been donated to the EAA museum. I haven't seen him for years, but had heard that he was working for one of the big aircraft companies in the Los Angeles area.

    FRANK BOYCE

    As most everyone who owns a set of Starduster Too plans knows, Frank was the person who did the outstanding layout and drafting which resulted in a very accurate and usable set of drawings. By today's standards they are good, but 20 years ago, compared to anything else on the market, they were great.

    He did these drawings while working for Lou part time. Frank owned and built a Baby Ace which Lou helped him with. Frank also did the drawings for the single place Starduster and for Glenn on his GB-1, VW Parasol, and is a great draftsman as well as a good guy.
    During WW II he flew Corsairs in the South Pacific.

    GEORGE RICE

    George was also a draftsman, but besides that he was a pretty good mechanic and welder. I remember several interesting things about George. I took ground school for my private license before I went to work for Lou. This was at the Corona Air College, and George was the ground school instructor. One of the students who attended was Linda Stolp, Lou's daughter.
    I remember George explaining about compasses, saying that it was the only reliable instrument in the airplane but that it lied to you all the time.
    He bought a Lockheed 12, much like the one in which Amelia Earhart flew around the world. Glenn went with him to fly it back from the Midwest. Somewhere over Arizona, with both of them half asleep, the engines quit. Boy, that sure wakes you up!
    They had forgotten to change tanks and lost a lot of altitude before they got the engines running again.

    8

    On a subsequent flight one of the landing gear collapsed during roll out, which made George unhappy, being the owner of an antique twin-engine airplane. George also used this airplane to haul parachute jumpers at Elsinore, California. I remember several humorous stories George told before he left Autonatics in Anaheim as a draftsman.
    One day George left at noon for lunch. After lunch he stopped and got a haircut. When he returned the boss asked him how come he was late, as it was obvious there were hairs on his white shirt. Now you have to understand George was a nonconformist. (In the department where he worked there were about 40 drafting tables, and all of them had nice clear plastic covers except one, his which he covered with a moth eaten old army blanket.)
    So George told his boss he got a haircut.
    His boss said, "On company time?" George told him it grew on company time, and his boss said it didn't all grow on company time.
    So George said, "I didn't get it all cut off." Shortly thereafter he was asked to leave and came to work for Lou, go figure.
    George was also building a Starduster Too, and had one of the low serial numbers.
    He got started building the wings and everything went well. Soon he had four wing panels finished and hung up in the rafters of his garage. One afternoon Lou stopped by to look them over, and with George laying on his work bench, looking up and very satisfied with himself. He was pointing them out to Lou . . . "Yes, I have a right upper wing panel there and a right upper wing panel there, and a right upper wing panel there, and. . . .

    My God I've built four right-hand upper wing panels!" George had his table and fixture set up to build a right upper wing panel and it went so well he built four of them. So you see, everyone makes mistakes. George also did the drawing for the Starlet plans.
    He later left Starduster Corporation to go into business for himself at Corona, and after that moved to Monroe Utah, he also went on to build an F-B-5 using a lot of parts from one of the original airplanes and making the rest. This was one of the first water cooled Navy carrier planes that was designed around 1925 and was one of the only water cooled Packard engine powered fighters the Navy ever purchased.
    The airplane is in San Diego Aerospace Museum. San Diego, CA

    http://travelphotobase.com/s/CADAS.HTM

    In early 1969 I changed jobs moving to Northern California and several years later to Oregon. During that time my wife became pregnant again (I'm still not sure how this happened), so it was either the new baby or the airplane.

    I sold my airplane and kept the baby. The airplane went to Tom Simmonds of Deer Valley AZ and changed hands several times after. In Oregon I did little flying the first several years, but did use my GI Bill during 1976 and 1977, and was a real pilot again.

    Shortly after that I got involved in boats and built and raced 3 point outboard hydroplanes. After three successful years of racing and one bad accident, I thought I would change to something a little more safer and a bit more conservative. And decided to build the airplane I had always wanted. It was a Starduster Too.

    I did not want to start from scratch so started looking for a good start but the few projects I found, the owners either wanted more money than I had or changed their mind when I showed up with the cash. So at first ended up with a Skybolt. After buying this Skybolt project and working on it awhile, I traded for an Acroduster Too project, thinking it would be the closest thing I would ever get to a Starduster Too which I later ended up selling and was finally able to find a very nice Starduster Too project about 40% complete good workmanship with flying wires, and at the right price.

    9

    This was around 1985. My sons Dan and David helped me finish this airplane, and in June of 1989 it flew for the first time. And as of November 2016 is 27 yrs old and has 2700 hrs of flight time.

    STARDUSTER_One_and_Too.jpg

    N4521 Morgan  Schrack Flabob 1968.jpg

    N501S Starlet Serial # 1 small.jpg

    N711GB   GB-1.jpg

    Sopwith Triplane Stolp Aircraft Flabob 2.jpg

    N96576 2 small.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
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  7. Dec 29, 2016 #7

    Airplanebarn

    Airplanebarn

    Airplanebarn

    Slow building a Starduster Too . Love Tailwheel Fl

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    Great info Dave , thanx for sharing ! Also ... wow ! 2700 hours over 27 years ..umm 100 hours a year average ..that's GREAT !! You build 'em then fly the wings off them ! Cool !
     
  8. Dec 30, 2016 #8

    will moffitt

    will moffitt

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    That last kodak is very telling Dave. We are all getting older.;)
    Nice history.

    Thanks

    will
     
  9. Dec 30, 2016 #9

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    The Author of Starduster History, with all of the principle owners of the company, Taken at Flabob airport Riverside CA, and at Sunrise Airpark Melba ID

    Starduster History 1 small.jpg
     
  10. Dec 30, 2016 #10

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    The first Single place Starduster SA-100 N70P

    Much of the look and design of the Starduster Too owes its heritage to the Starduster. The prototype, N70P, was built during the mid 50's and flew in 1957 after that was sold several times. Then in the 1980s was exported to the UK and registered as G-BSZG. Lou remembers a challenge race between Frank Smith, the designer of the Smith miniplane, and himself in their original designed biplanes. Lou had changed the 100 HP engine for a 125 HP Lycoming on his Starduster. Frank, of course, did not know this. Lou got a kick out of beating Frank and seeing the puzzled look on his face when they got down. However, he didn't have the heart to tell Frank why the Starduster's performance had suddenly increased so radically. Frank Smith is gone today, but the 150 or so Smith miniplanes that have been built and flown are a tribute and testament to their designer, Frank Wilson Smith.

    There is much more that could be said about the single place Starduster. There was a book written and published called "The Starduster", and it really speaks well of this airplane. The book was written by Norm Weis. It is about a college professor who built a single place Starduster and taught himself aerobatics. He flew it to the east coast, west coast, Canada and Mexico and put on several aerobatic shows, raced it at Reno, and did all of this on the bottom half of the fuel tank with much questionable weather in between. This aircraft, N1NW, has been re registered with a different “N” number and is still on the FAA records, although it is now owned by someone else. The book is published by Prentice & Hall. It's first printing was in 1980. How this guy. lived to grow old amazes me.

    The single place Starduster probably ranks third behind the Pitts and Smith Miniplane as a favorite of the single-place biplanes. It was very popular during the 60's, well over 200 sets of plans were sold. I currently have “N” numbers for about 110 airplanes that were finished flown and completed over a 50 year period most were built in the 60s, and many are still registered with the FAA.

    STARDUSTER HISTORY N2314C serial #3

    This airplane was one of several airplanes that left a lasting impression on me. The airplane was finished several years before N1300S was started. The metallic blue, with white trim, and the stars and stripes paint scheme that are so familiar to Starduster owners was originally put onN94505 and next on N2314C. Then, when N1300S was finished, this paint scheme, with a few changes, was put on it.
    Many Starduster Too builders have used this same paint design on their airplanes. The color photo taken in 1968 of these two airplanes flying in formation has been pinned to many a work shop wall. - I assume for inspiration. N2314C is currently registered with a valid airworthiness certificate and recently 2016 sold to a young man in Ohio who is currently restoring it.
    10
    It was the second of two that were built by Lou Stolp. I saw it For the First time at Fla bob Airport just after Lou had moved From Corona. It was in silver at the time, however the landing gear had been extended and the traditional gear fairings along with Cherokee type wheel pants a large spinner and Comanche nose bowl had been installed giving it a very racy appeal. This airplane was being painted and Finished when I went to work for Lou. It was the second airplane to have what has become the traditional Starduster paint scheme.

    Of course N94505 the prototype Starduster Too was the first to sport this stars and stripes paint job. I remember hand propping N2314C on several occasions. Glen Beets Flew it to Lancaster California to be Filmed in a Raleigh cigarette commercial. I remember this because Glen had told me later that he had parked next to Linn's Mini-Mustang, and him thinking it looked like a kids toy, beside the little Starduster, that was very big compared to the Linn Mini Mustang!

    This airplane along with N1300S [the second prototype Starduster Too made the annual trek to the EAA convention held in Rockford Illinois during July of 1968. So that the entire line of Starduster aircraft would be on display there. The single and two place Stardusters N2314C & N1300S and the original first prototype Starlet N501S. I don't recall the single place or the two place having had any problems during that trip.
    N2314C was powered by a 150 HP 0320 Lycoming it weighs 7401bs empty. Its top speed was 137 mph, and it cruised at 125 mph. Its climb was 2,000 Feet/per minute, and its landing speed was 50 mph. Lou owned the airplane For several more years and in the mid 70's traded it off for an Auburn Classic automobile.

    Bud Pedigo was the new owner and I believe both he and his wife Flew it in their travels, it was also raced at Reno in the late 70s. I saw it again in the late 1970's or early 80s at Evergreen Airport in Vancouver, Washington during the annual Antique Air show and fly-in.
    In the early 1980s it was sold to Bud Phillips of Red Bluff California. He had previously' owned and built several types of airplanes of which one was a Skybolt and was intrigued by the little Starduster. Bud owned the airplane up until his death in the late 1980's, after a long bout with cancer.
    His lovely wife Barbara offered it For sale and it has changed hands several times since. I talked to Barbara at Oshkosh 1991 during the Starduster banquet held at the Acey Ducee in Oshkosh WI a place where many of the airshow pilots hung out and where the Starduster banquet dinner was held that year, she was quite surprised to find that I knew so much about this airplane.

    THE STARDUSTER TOO

    The very first Starduster Too prototype, N94505, was built by Lou Stolp, Glenn Beets George Rice and Walt Voris over a period several years, starting in 1964 and thru 1965. I remember seeing this airplane for the first time at Corona, California as a student pilot, and how much I was impressed by it.
    Besides N94505, Lou built two other Starduster Too's. The second one was N1300S, and the third was N639PK.
    The Starduster Too was the first two-place biplane design that really appealed to the homebuilder. It was big and beautiful. The plans were good, and it was there at the right time. There have been almost 3,000 sets of plans sold over a 40 year period. Since then About 650 airplanes have been built and flown.
    They have powered by every engine imaginable: Lycoming, Continental, Franklin, Jacobs, Warner, Ranger, and Kinner. From 125 HP thru 300 HP. The most popular is the 180 HP Lycoming, closely followed by the 200 HP, and 260 HP Lycoming. Of all the Stardusters built, about two dozen of them have been powered by radial engines.

    Many of these airplanes have changed hands numerous times, and have traveled all over the United States since they were first built. Many have also had new "N" numbers assigned. There was even a Starduster Too built with retractable landing gear that folded up similar to the Cessna 210. They have been built in every state including Alaska and Hawaii. Many are registered in Canada. A number have been built or imported into England and Europe. There was one built in Puerto Rico several are being built in Australia and one has just recently flown there. One was also built in Japan, and another in New Zeland. The Japanese Starduster was built by the students of Tokyo Metropolitan College of Aeronautical Engineering. Professor Hisao Takahashi was the project engineer. The first flight on July 25, 1977 and this airplane was powered by a 135 HP Lycoming.

    The Starduster has won numerous awards at Fly-ins across the country. It has won the best custom built award at Oshkosh many times and Stardusters have been on the cover of Sport Aviation numerous times and remains even to this day one of the all-time favorites of the two-place home built biplanes.

    14

    The Starduster Too was designed and built to fill a need. This need was for a two place open-cockpit biplane. There was really nothing comparable to it at that time. Most homebuilts during this time were single place and very small. It has achieved that goal, and most owners who have written regarding their airplane have had only good things to say. Many articles have been written about the Starduster Too. "Almost too beautiful," is one description of this delightful airplane. "Symmetrical and graceful of line" seems to be another. Something so simple as the flying and landing wire arrangement help make it more attractive, it has what my son calls airplane sex appeal all of the curves in the right places.
    There are certainly better biplanes today. But not many people will argue the point that the Starduster Too lends credence to the claim that this machine is truly the most beautiful two place open cockpit biplane flying today.

    That if built to the latest plans it performs just as beautifully and capable as it looks is easy to understand. Of the 3000 or so sets of plans sold, minus the 650 or so that have been built finished,and flown I suspect there are still at least 50 Starduster Too projects that are either well along, or perhaps as many are in the early stages of construction, basic wings or fuselage the balance being mostly wishful thinkers.

    Most of these airplanes were built to satisfy a personal sense of accomplishment and not to impress other people. The general public rarely sees or appreciates these airplanes. To most, anything that flies overhead is just another airplane. Many Starduster Too projects were started by one person only to be finished by the second third or even the forth owner. I have felt now over the last dozen years that the days of the big home built biplane are pretty much over. With fewer pilots, the cost of building, the materiel the flying wires, and especially the engine and propeller,not to mention insurance, operating and maintenance costs so high, most people are turning to the more efficient kit aircraft designs.
    But as I have found in researching this material, there is still considerable interest in this type of airplane no matter what the cost. One of the reasons for doing a history on this particular design is to show that it has become one of the most popular experimental biplanes ever.

    N94505 The Very First Starduster Too.

    Events with home built aircraft during the late 1950's and early 1960's are what came about to make the two place version of the Starduster a reality. Ideas and interest for a two place, with the same general configuration as the single place had been talked about for several years. Many people were instrumental in putting pressure on Lou Stolp to do the preliminary design sketches that would lead to the first Starduster Too.
    Up until that time most home built's were small single place airplanes, with very few two place designs to pick from. Lou as well as his contributors wanted a larger airplane. More or less a modern day biplane with many of the traditional aspects of open cockpit biplanes. Lou dug into his background of shapes and designs that had influenced him over the years. The elliptical trailing edges of the wings, the Comanche nose bowl, the large spinner with stars, the spat type gear fairings, the shape of the tail, the French curve of the head rest, the Flat wrap of the windshields and the overall appearance, attractive from just about any angle.

    15

    Lou said for many years that the Starduster Too was not designed by him, as all the things he used to make it what it is were there for the taking, and all he did was put it in the right proportion and package. As most of you builders know talking about building an airplane is one thing, but actually-building one is quite another, and although Lou had worked around airplanes for most of his adult years, as well as designing and building the single place Starduster it was still quite an undertaking to build a two place version of this airplane. Most people think that you can just scale it up to accept two people, but when you start you quickly find that one small change can affects many other things especially by just adding dual controls.

    There are two items that have been a problem with this airplane for quite sometime and by the pictures included with this article you can see that they were a problem then as well as now. One is weight and balance and as you will notice on the construction picture the cabane struts on this airplane are straight up, the other thing to notice is the landing gear was mocked up with a Cessna spring steel gear, of course this airplane was never built with it, as the traditional
    Piper type shock cord gear prevailed and that early landing gear problems as well as weight and balance are still a problem to some degree over 40 years later. The original airplane weighed less than 1000 lbs and was quite spartan and with the lighter tail did not have as bad a CG, compared to many of the airplanes that were built later As I said earlier many people were forceful and helpful in making the airplane happen.

    Besides Lou Stolp there was George Rice, George built the wings not only for N94505 but also for N1300S the second prototype as well as helping in many other ways. Glen Beets did much of the fabricating and welding and Frank Singer a local corporate pilot supplied the 180 hp Lycoming engine, others who were involved were Frank Boyce, who did the drawings, Harry Gann, Walt Vorees, Vaughn Price and Yank Levin. Most of the major work was done during the winter of 1962-63 in Lou's hanger Stolp Aircraft at Corona California.
    With all of these people working on it part or full time as well as Lou's obligation to running his business.
    Work progressed slow but steady. The airplane was Flown for the First time during the spring of 1965. The first flight although successful was not very encouraging. Lou was very disappointed and upset. He wanted to cut it up as he had doubts about all the work was For naught. At age 17 Vaughn Price flew the original Starduster N70P at Compton Calif years earlier.
    At Corona he did the first flight of N94505 Starduster Too. The top wing was to far forward, and barley made it around the Pattern, Lou repositioned the top wing, and added approximately 10" to the front of the fuselage . After this the airplane flew much better. Vaughn also taught Lou's daughter Linda to fly. Pictures in Sport Aviation of N94505 Under Construction Corona Calif 1964 and On The Ramp at Chino Calif 1965 Similarity between the original SA-100 "Starduster", N-70P, and the SA-300 are noteworthy.

    George Rice (rear cock-pit) and Lou Stolp are in the aircraft. STOLP SA-300 "STARDUSTER" SPECIFICATIONS Span 24 ft Dihedral Upper, none; Lower, 1½ deg. Length 20 ft Incidence Upper, none; Lower, 1 deg. Height 7 ft 6in Estimated empty weight 875 tbs. Wing area 170 sq ft Estimated gross weight 1,450 lbs. Chord 48 in Stressed weight 1,800 lbs

    16
    .
    Estimated cruise speed 135 mph Sweep back Upper, 6 deg Lower, none Estimated rate of climb 2,200 fpm

    The wing panels, dihedral and gap of the SA-300 stand out when viewed from the rear. Anyway you want to look at it, the "Starduster Too" is a well proportioned and attractive airplane. Some very serious calculation errors regarding weight and balance had been made and the airplane had been built with them. George Rice had convinced Lou to reconsider by making changes and after several days of head scratching and some re figuring it was decided to move the Firewall Forward approximately 10" inches along with angling the cabanes forward from the center section to the firewall.

    These changes were accomplished during the summer and fall of 1965, after which a new test Flight was conducted. This one of course was much better, as the airplane Flew quite well after this. Many of the people who worked on the plane also Flew it during the first few hours of flight. Some air to air shots were taken but very little meaningful flight testing was done. I saw this airplane at Corona as a young student pilot during this time, and was very impressed with its looks.

    Later, not long after this and on January 8, 1966, Frank Singer took the airplane to Hesperia, California. There are several versions as to what happened next. Frank had been showing the airplane to friends, along with doing some serious drinking, apparently they wanted to see what the airplane could do and talked Frank into flying some low altitude aerobatics, some of the maneuvers were quite violent and control was lost and the airplane spun into the ground, the results were predictable the airplane was destroyed, and Frank was Fatally injured.

    This accident was the first with a Starduster Too. The airplane had approximately 17 hrs of flight time when this accident occurred.

    NTSB Identification: LAX66A0054
    14 CFR Part 91 General Aviation
    Aircraft: STOLP SA-300, registration: N94505
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    FILE DATE LOCATION AIRCRAFT DATA INJURIES FLIGHT PILOT DATA
    F S M/N PURPOSE
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2-0098 66/1/8 APPLE VALLEY CALI STOLP SA-300 CR- 1 0 0 NONCOMMERCIAL COMMERCIAL, FL.INSTR.,
    TIME - 1220 N94505 PX- 0 0 0 PLEASURE/PERSONAL TRANSP AGE 35, 2000 TOTAL HOURS,
    DAMAGE-DESTROYED OT- 0 0 0 3 IN TYPE, INSTRUMENT
    RATED.
    NAME OF AIRPORT - APPLE VALLEY
    TYPE OF ACCIDENT PHASE OF OPERATION
    STALL: SPIN IN FLIGHT: ACROBATICS
    PROBABLE CAUSE(S)
    PILOT IN COMMAND - IMPROPER OPERATION OF FLIGHT CONTROLS
    MISCELLANEOUS ACTS,CONDITIONS - ALCOHOLIC IMPAIRMENT OF EFFICIENCY AND JUDGMENT

    Later in 1966, after Lou had moved from Corona over to Flabob Airport, I remember seeing the remains and what was left of N94505 under a tarp in the back of the hangar. Very little of the airplane was salvaged.

    17

    The "N" number was turned in and reissued to a Cessna 152 that is currently registered to Christiansen Aviation Inc 2207 Concord Pike Wilmington DE. It is sad but that is the history of N94505 the very First Starduster Too ever built. N94505..

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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  11. Dec 30, 2016 #11

    Knight Twister

    Knight Twister

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    If anybody is interested the book "The Starduster" by Norm Weiss is available on amazon cheap. I bought a copy about five years ago. It's a good read with pictures, something most knuckle draggers on this site love.
     
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  12. Dec 30, 2016 #12

    G-KEST

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    Love this history. When I was at school I dearly wanted to built a Stolp Starlet, a most attractive design.

    An acquaintence of mine in the UK used to own the Wellington Pup/Sport when he lived in California for a while; I think he had an interesting landing at FlaBob and received a round of applause right along the flight-line.
     
  13. Dec 30, 2016 #13

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    G-KEST Do you or your friend have any pictures of the airplane, the wellington sport?

    Picture is of the second company built Starlet N2300 it had the O-235 and flaps. I did some of the covering work and upholstery on that airplane.Dave

    Stolp Starlet N2300 color.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  14. Dec 31, 2016 #14

    Lotahp1

    Lotahp1

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    Such a pretty design. Love to hear this history!
     
  15. Dec 31, 2016 #15

    Dennis5678

    Dennis5678

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    A guy in Jacksonville Florida owned her for a while flew her out of
    Herlong Airport think back in the 80's
    I was going to buy her for $14,000 but some guys from England overbid me and off she went across to the Big Pound to the UK
    He did not know what he had in N70P until I showed him some photos and History of her. The time he had her she had went through an extensive rebuild that he did not do. I don't know who did but is was beautiful work including new symmetrical airfoils and four ailerons. He gave me photos of the rebuild since I was going to buy her. Wish I knew what I did with those photos but it has been about 30years ago.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
  16. Dec 31, 2016 #16

    G-KEST

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  17. Jan 1, 2017 #17

    Lotahp1

    Lotahp1

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    Good looking plane. I find this history so fascinating and such a important part of our history...thank you Dave, we Starduster enthusiasts owe a great deal to you for compiling this data and pictures and even more important...Sharing it! Do you if anyone maintains the list of Stolp planes on the Aircraft Spruce Starduster Forum? I love looking at all the different planes and engines. Each one is the same, but unique.
     
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  18. Jan 1, 2017 #18

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    G-KEST Thanks so much for the picture of Harry Wellingtons airplane.

    Kris You are correct they are all the same only different. I was at a Starduster fly-in once with mostly all Stardusters, and several people attending, thought they were all different airplanes!
    Aircraft Spruce does not have anyone that supports the Starduster website, and only if you have problems logging in, someone will help you. Mike Vega has been tasked with trying to resolve all problems Starduster and is the go to guy, but knows little about the airplane.

    Here is the link to the registry for the old Starduster website there are about 5 pages of Starduster owners and builders.

    http://starduster.aircraftspruce.com/registry.html

    Dave
     
  19. Jan 1, 2017 #19

    Dave Baxter

    Dave Baxter

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    STARDUSTER HISTORY

    N1300S The Second Prototype Starduster Too

    This airplane N1300S, the second prototype Starduster Too built entirely by Lou Stolp and Starduster Employees during late 1967. This airplane is probably the single most important Starduster that ever Flew. The airplane appeared on the cover of Sport Aviation. In February 1968, as well as in several other aviation publications over the next several years. It was the First two-place design that really appealed to the home builder, it was in the right place at the right time, and the plans by the standards of the day were excellent. The materials and prices were reasonable. But the thing that really set it off was its overall beautiful appearance which inspired many airplanes to be built.

    As I remember, Lou Stolp had talked George Rice out of the wings he had completed for his airplane, so that they would have a head start. The rest of the Fuselage, landing gear, tail and cabanas were completed in less than Four months. The engine installation, plumbing, and wiring along with covering and painting were completed over the next month and a half. Having acquired the completed set of wings From George and with the entire crew working on the airplane it was completed and Flown for the First time in less than,six months.

    Somewhat of a record I suppose. But you have to understand that many of the people who worked on the airplane had previously worked on N94505 the very First Starduster Too. I remember coming to work in the morning and Finding Glen Beets asleep under the airplane with the lights on and the doors Unlocked. This happened on more than one occasion. So you can see that with everyone working on the airplane night and day it should be no surprise that it was completed in such a short period of time.

    Also many of these employees willingly did so, volunteering a lot of time and not getting paid for doing so. N1300S serial number #13 was powered by an O-470 Continental 230hp with a constant speed propeller. I don't remember the empty weight but I would suspect it to be around 13501bs and it was very spartan; its cruise speed was about 150mph at 22 inches square.
    Lou Stolp and George Rice Flew the airplane to the EAA convention in Rockford Illinois during the summer of 1968. Glen Beets also accompanied them in the single place Starduster N2314C , it was quite a trip. This airplane N1300S was completed during the time I worked For Lou Stolp and in my opinion was one of the most beautiful Stardusters ever built, it really impressed me as a young man and was one of the reasons I painted my airplane N96576 a lot like the original. I also did this as a tribute to Lou Stolp.
    I myself did not do much work on this airplane as I was busy welding and filling tubing orders, along with much of the menial tasks that needed to be done in the course of the business.
    Along with Joy Stolp who I remember cut out a million stars for the tail, I was involved in the masking for the paint and striping.

    18

    But the desire to own a Starduster like this one has stayed with me always. In the late 1960's, the airplane was sold to Ralph Rina a young Continental Airlines First Officer, and a natural pilot. Who later became Continentals Chief pilot. Ralph and Dan Gary flew the airplane to Oshkosh over the next several years along with attending several other Fly-ins. Ralph also raced a T-6's named Miss Everything!at Reno during the late 70's and early 8O's, Finishing second on number of occasions, and finally won Reno in his T-6.He also raced a P-51 mustang. Dan and I when attending the CopperState Fly -In at Casa Grande AZ in 2008 Ralph showed up and we had a long conversation about this airplane, back in the early 80s I had talked with him about it and could have bought it then, but did not have the money.

    [ame]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p54Fw09Q7zE[/ame]

    In the early 80's he sold the airplane to John Erwin owner of the HNT Corporation Thousand Oaks California. Apparently John was unable to master the challenge of tail wheel landings even after numerous hours of dual, he then donated the aircraft to a War Bird Museum in Chino California, apparently as a tax right off. The museum had it For a year or so and not fully understanding the historical significance of this airplane and being warbird oriented offered it up For sale.

    By then the aircraft’s condition had deteriorated considerably. It was purchased by Jack Mattison in early 1988.Jack readied the airplane for flight, and during the takeoff run control was lost and the airplane ground looped causing one gear to collapse resulting in damage to the gear wing and propeller. The cause was determined to be due mostly to poor brakes after sitting for so long along with no tail wheel steering; apparently during its stay at the warbird museum the Scott tail wheel was modified by museum personnel to full swivel rendering it unsteerable, and Jack was obviously unaware of this condition.

    He had also borrowed a considerable sum of money to purchase the airplane From a real estate investor friend in Orange California. Once the airplane was wrecked Mattison then walked away from the whole thing, an the real estate investor who was not a pilot ended up as the new owner of the airplane. Who then contacted Bill Clouse From Starduster Corporation who put him in touch with George Rice, George repaired the gear, wing tip and. installed another prop. Then Flew the airplane to Corona with the intention to restore it to its original condition.

    Pictures are of it with no wheel pants at Flabob Starduster fly-in looking pretty ratty about 1986.

    Unfortunately Jack the investor had business and cash flow problems, that allowed the airplane to set for a yr or so. In the mean time George had moved from Corona to Monroe Utah. George had tried to buy the airplane, but he and Jack could never agree on the value or price. Eventually Jack allowed George to do a less than stellar (Cheap) repaint and minor restoration of the airplane but not to the original colors, after which it was flown back to Corona by George, where it sat again for several yrs.
    I had talked with Jack during this time on several occasions and encouraged him to pursue a accurate restoration of this airplane either for Airshow fly- ins or that it should be donated to the EAA Museum in Oshkosh as this is the place where the airplane needed to be on display. He assured me that in the Future either could happen but this was all for naught. The airplane after sitting for some time was eventually offered for sale at Corona Calif in several publications and was later damaged during a hard landing by a prospective buyer!

    After this the airplane was donated to the Wings Of Hope Charity they sent an old guy that knew nothing about the airplane with little help and further damaged it when trying to load it on a trailer. Once in their hands it was finally being offered up for bid and was subsequently bought by Don Adamson of Lonoke AR who has done some repair work and plans on restoring it, and currently is in his care.

    This is the saga of N1300S the second prototype Starduster Too.

    Please Note I am always looking For pictures of this airplane N1300S at Flabob, Rockford, Oshkosh or any other place and for that matter, any pictures of Stardusters.
    I would prefer color, but will accept any pictures of these airplanes. Thanks to Lee Darrah Las Vegas Nevada, Don Knauts Idaho Falls, and Hugh Farrell Murry KY who supplied me with some pictures of that era. IF you have negatives or prints, I can copy and return either.
    19

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    Don Adamsons Business card.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2017
  20. Jan 1, 2017 #20

    G-KEST

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    The colo(u)r schemes from the Stolp Starduster Corp. were great; the big engine Acroduster 2 that John Helton used to fly and the prototype Acroduster spring to mind. Maybe it was a FlaBob thing, I remember some memorable schemes on Skybolts and Chargers too.
     

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