Model Airplane News
August, 1969

Model Airplane News Cover for August, 1969

Model Airplane News Cover for August, 1969
Baby Ace and Smith Miniplane
Click to Enlarge

Here is what the blurb about the cover has to say:

"... Two homebuilts buzzing over the Ohio hills. The Baby Ace built and flown by Ernie Carlson of East Palestine, Ohio. Smith Miniplane built and flown by Don Simmons of Youngstown, Ohio. Ernie is a sport model flyer and says home builts are just big models. Small cover is a well-finished Kwik-Fli MK III ..."

Which is Which?

 Smith Miniplane and Corben Baby Ace Model Airplane News August 1969

Parade of the Homebuilts
left: Smith Miniplane right: Baby Ace Click to Enlarge

About the Corben Baby Ace

Ace Aircraft is one of the oldest kit planes on the market today. The names of "Ace" Corben, Ed Heath, and B.H. Pietenpol were synonymous with experimental homebuilt aircraft as far back as 1930, and we still find the basic designs of "Ace" Corben being built, flown, and admired by those who find the past as exciting as the designs and materials of the present. Paul Poberezny, founder of the Experimental Aircraft Associateion , gave renewed life to the Corben designs back in 1954 when he acquired the remains of the Corben Airplane Company.

Corben Baby Ace Homebuilt Airplane    Corben Baby Ace Homebuilt Airplane

Corben Baby Ace Homebuilt Airplane
Click to Enlarge

The Baby Ace is a single seat, parasol aeroplane powered by a 1940s vintage 65hp Continental powerplant. The Baby Ace has proven to be a popular design. The fuselage of the open-cockpit single seater is made of steel tubing covered with fabric. The wing is made of two wood spars, also covered with fabric. The Junior Ace is a side-by-side two seater constructed in the same manner. Owners praise the designs because they are easy to build and fly. Depending on the powerplant, the Baby Ace will cruise at around 100 mph and climb at 1,200 fpm, according to Ace Aircraft.

Here is a video starring the Baby Ace

Click here for more information about the Corben Baby Ace.

About the Smith Miniplane

Model Airplane News Cover for September, 1959 by Jo Kotula Frank Smith Miniplane    Model Airplane News Cover for January, 1968 by Jo Kotula Frank Smith Miniplane

Frank Smith "Miniplane"
Model Airplane News Cover Art for September, 1959 and January, 1968
by Jo Kotula
Click to Enlarge

Historically, the full-scale Smith Miniplane is one of the designs that helped start the modern homebuilding era. Originally designed and built in 1957 by Frank Smith of Fullerton, California, the Miniplane was an early example of engineering with the amateur homebuilder and weekend pilot in mind. It could be constructed with tools easily within reach of the average craftsman, and in the air it was stable and easy to fly.

The Frank Smith Miniplane      The Frank Smith Miniplane

Photos of the Frank Smith "Miniplane"
Click to Enlarge

The top wing spanned 17 ft., and the empty weight was a mere 600 pounds. Powered by a 100hp Lycoming, the tiny Miniplane cruised at 120 mph, climbed at a fantastic 2,500 ft. per minute, and was highly aerobatic. It was just what many sportsman pilots were looking for. Because of those short wings, its glide ratio has also been described as that of a piano! In short it's absolutely amazing as long as the engine is at full power.

Here is a video of the Frank Smith "Miniplane" in action:

Click Here for more information about the Smith Miniplane.

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