Modern-day Barnstormers have Flown into Town on the Wings of a Rare Biplane
Aug 11,2006 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides is offering the public a chance to re-live a piece of aviation history by taking an authentic barnstorming ride in this rare biplane. Rides will be offered at the Bend Airport from Friday, August 11th through Sunday, August 13th and at the Sunriver Resort Airport through September. Call 800-991-2473 to make reservations.
The biplane, nicknamed Stanley, was built specifically for barnstorming by Charles Healy Day and Ivan Gates of the "Gates Flying Circus". In an effort to carry as many awaiting passengers as possible, the plane was built to carry four in the front cockpit in addition to the pilot. Out of the approximately 55 that were built, Stanley is one of only five New Standards flying in the world today.
The New Standard biplane is among the few remaining examples of aircraft built specifically for barnstorming. It is a rugged, simple airplane, not designed for transportation, but just for the fun of flying. Stanley was built in 1929 and licensed in January of 1930. Its first owner was a WWI ace named Ken Unger from Hadley Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey, who was a test pilot for the New Standard Company. During the early 1930's the New Standard Company went out of business because of the depression and Mr. Unger ended up with two airplanes, one of which was Stanley. Mr. Unger used the plane to hop rides and at one point had a contract to spray for mosquitoes.
Stanley is one of the only New Standards that seems to have survived the crop dust era, which basically wore out or destroyed all the others. Initially this airplane had the same owner for 37 years, then it was sold and rebuilt several times until it was purchased by the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) who refurbished the entire airplane. Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane rides acquired Stanley from the EAA and has returned the plane to its original purpose, bringing open-cockpit flight to excited passengers across the country -- including Oregon.
Nostalgic Warbird & Biplane Rides is a modern day barnstorming company that offers rides in vintage aircraft, including a 1930 New Standard D-25 biplane and a 1941 Stearman PT-17 "Kaydet" warbird trainer. The company is based in Palm Springs, California during the winter months and travels around the Northwest during the summer sharing the thrill of open-cockpit flying with the general public.