The “Miss Muffet” Stearman

Stripes and spiders — not a combination most people would think of when designing a paint scheme for a vintage airplane, but that’s exactly what Merrill and MaDonna McMahan of Wausau, Wis., decided to do when they painted their 1941 Stearman.

The red, white and blue airplane sports small black spiders and the name “Miss Muffet” emblazoned on the side.

“Miss Muffet was what Dad called me when I was a little kid and I was in trouble,” MaDonna said. [Read more...]

Stearman wing becomes conference table

The Stearman is a classic of modern aviation, which inspired MotoArt to create a series of Stearman Wing Conference Tables. Each is custom sized in length up to 24 feet. Clients can determine final colors of the wooden spruce spars and base support legs. Finishing touches include tempered glass that is custom cut to maintain the shape of the wing.

The devil is in the details

A slightly different rudder leads a master restorer to a true aviation find

By DAVID NIXON

It has been said, “the devil is in the details.” This is especially so in aviation. Whether you are flying or fixing an airplane, the details matter.

For an aircraft museum it is doubly important. The Western Antique Airplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) in Hood River, Ore., prides itself as having the most authentically restored aircraft in its collection. This attention to detail led to discovering and buying a very special airplane, the prototype 1933 Stearman Model 70, NX571Y, which is now being restored at the museum by the head of restoration, Tom Murphy, for museum founder Terry Brandt.

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One thing leads to another, and another…

With Oshkosh in full swing, the eyes of the aviation minded are on Wisconsin. But here in central Florida there is one city commissioner who has just become a major fan of aviation, thanks to a husband and wife who restored a Stearman and shared the excitement with him. I love it when the fever spreads.

It was only a few weeks ago that I wrote about Elizabeth Amundsen, a CFI and IA who was busily restoring a Stearman to its former glory along with her husband, Jonathan. That story may have been the impetus for the local newspaper here in Winter Haven to run a story about the same couple as they prepared to get the last few details completed in preparation for their departure for AirVenture 2010.

That newspaper story gave our new interim airport manager an idea. It stood to reason, she thought, that if one couple was headed off to Oshkosh for the big wing-ding, maybe others from our field were making the trek, too. What if the city’s staff and commissioners showed up at the airport to provide an official send-off? That would be great!

[Read more...]