By TED LUEBBERS
The EAA members, who are based at Leesburg International Airport in Leesburg, Florida, were shown three projects that the folks at Jim Kimball Enterprises are working on by Kevin Kimball, president of the company.
The first one was the kit construction of a Curtis Pitts model 12 biplane. This plane was near completion and is now in the painting phase.
Chapter members were able to see its structural frame and parts of the plane that had recently been painted. They were given statistics and information on the Russian radial engine that will power the Pitts.
Jim Kimball Enterprises is the exclusive seller of this Pitts kit and to date has sold about 125 of them.
The second project is one that the EAA members have been monitoring for about four years. It is the rebuilding to museum standards of a 1929 Lockheed Vega.
This plane belongs to Kermit Weeks of Florida’s Fantasy of Flight. The fact that this aircraft rebuild is being entrusted to the people at Jim Kimball Enterprises is a testament to the fine quality of work they do.
Currently the all-plywood wing has been rebuilt and is awaiting its fabric covering and paint. The vertical and horizontal stabilizers, along with the elevators and rudder, are ready for paint. The fuselage has been deconstructed and will be rebuilt to 1929 Lockheed specifications.
Next on the list was a World War II Stearman biplane originally built by Boeing Aircraft in the 1940s. This plane had been in the Kimball family for many years and all the family members learned to fly in it.
It had seen better days, so they decided to rebuild it. Since it is a family airplane, many refinements were added that Boeing never thought about or had not been invented at the time it was first built.
Chapter members always look forward to this visit, as they can pick up tips from Kevin Kimball that they can take back and apply to their own building projects.
Kevin, a mechanical engineer, has a wealth of aeronautical knowledge and experience that he applies to the business, but he also has a vast appreciation of aviation history.