Sunday, April 14, 2019

Online Barnstormer blog is named after the 2018 Lindy Award Winner Vintage Lincoln Page.

Grampa was a real Barnstormer so I am the Online Barnstormer

There was no FAA or aviation certificates available when the Lincoln Page was made and sold to Grandpa.  My Grandpa went out and bought it and taught himself to fly like I did with my hang gliders.  Below is a photo of my Grandpas 1920 Lincoln Page.  He, Arnold and his brother Rubin purchased the Lincoln Page in 1929 for $3000 or $1500 each from Holman Field in St. Paul, MN.  It had the infamous Hamilton OX-5 12 cylinder engine.  The side of the airplane has "Frieman Bros." painted on the Fuselage.  Yes this really is my Grandpas Airplane.   I showed this picture to an aviation historian and he thought picture was fake but authenticated it with photos and his anme painted on the side.

Incidently Al and Rubin pictured in their 1920 Lincoln Page were good friends with Charles Willis "Speed" Holman who was an American stunt pilot, barnstormer, wing walker, parachutist, airmail pilot, record holding aviator, and airline pilot. Born in Bloomington, Minnesota, he was the first pilot hired by Northwest Airways now Delta Airlines in 1926.
Oshkosh 2018 Lindy Grand Champion Award Winner.

I am the Online Barnstormer, a third generation pilot, aviation enthusiast and barnstormer pictured below.

A barnstormer flight in home made standard Ragollo hang glider in 1973 at South St. Paul gravel pit.

Below a barnstormer flight in fixed wing powered Icarus V hanglider 1974.  Both aircraft I scratch built and flew with no training of any kind.  There were no hangliding licenses or certificates available at the time.  Just started out on a small hill then learn to fly with trial and error.

Notice me hanging by my arms.  I am barely strong enough to hang on to the hang cage.  Taurus Kicenuik, the inventor of the Icarus V is pictured in back on the left with the red helmet.  There were 7 powered hang gliders at the very first powered hanglider meet in the early 70's in held Michigan.  The pilots and spectators were from all over the country and each had various levels of experience.  There was journalist that came over from Greece to photograph the event because he was interested in introducing the sport to Greece.  He asked me to come to Greece and build Powered hangliders. 

Notice the flags.  The winds were 25 MPH at mid afternoon.  No-one should have been flying that day.  But who knew?  It was the first powered hanglider meet and there were no trees from a cliff to run into.  I had a "kill switch" in my mouth for my throttle.  I designed a motor mount for a MAC 101 (10 HP) gocart engine and straight drive 24" propellor.   Boy did that propellor RPM scream!  I wanted to abort the windy flight.  I wasn't in control, but my "kill switch" had shorted out and the engine wouldn't quit.  A video will be shown of the flight (coming soon).  It's a barnstormer!

I couldn't STOP the motor and I was approaching a crowd of spectators.  I was afraid to fly over them.  I thought if I got too high I wouldn't be able to turn around.  I thought I would end up down wind at 50MPH or faster.   I might not have the strenghth or skill to turn back upwind to the landing area and I couldn't stop the motor!  I knew I would crash.  So in the photo you see me hanging at take off.  I was probably ten feet hight and 50 yards from take off.  I bailed from the hang cage with the motor running.  I dropped to the ground and tumbled a little.  The IcarusV flew straight up full power and did a perfect loop and landed THUMPED right in front of me.  The crowd thought it was part of an act like an airshow and applauded with an uproar while the home builders and pilots were probably drying off or wiping out their pants.  Most of the other pilots were senior to me in experience and half of them were the inventors of these powered hangliders there to promote the sport.

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