the earliest — and still most-affordable homebuilt designs at
the Affordable Flying Center — is the Pietenpol Air Camper,
originally a Ford Model A-powered design capable of
accommodating a number of other, more common engines. Photo by Dave Higdon
Pietenpol Air Camper is a two-place, tandem seat, open cockpit,
plans-built monoplane. Bernard Pietenpol designed the plane so that the
average person in the 1930s could build and fly it from almost any
off-airport field, as well as construct it with a minimum of tools. The
Air Camper can typically be purchased used or built for under $10,000.
Pietenpol Air Camper represents the root of EAA–simple, affordable
flying that can be done by almost anyone," said Ron Wagner, manager
of EAA field relations and chief coordinator of the Affordable Flying
Center. "The Air Camper can be easily modified by builders,
allowing for versatility with cost and materials."
Camper has some interesting design features. Because of the downward
thrust of the propeller (the engine angles downward 5 degrees), the
plane has a short/slow take-off run and landings are light on wheels.
The beauty of the Air Camper design is that except for engine changes,
more than 60 different engines have been adapted for use on the
airplane; the basic plans behind the firewall do not need to change.
William Rewey of Verona,
Wisconsin, built the Pietenpol Air Camper parked at the Affordable
Flying Center. Rewey is considered one of the nation’s leading
authorities of the Pietenpol Air Camper. For more information on this
airplane, visit the Affordable Flying Center, located in the former NASA
Pavilion adjacent to AirVenture’s Honda Forums Plaza and the Workshops
Plaza (Box #46 on the map).
The Affordable Flying Center at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 was designed
to address one of the biggest hurdles facing many pilots (and would-be
pilots): how to keep the passion for flying within a reasonable budget.
Located in the former NASA Pavilion adjacent to AirVenture’s Honda
Forums Plaza and the Workshops Plaza, the Affordable Flying Center
brings together much of the knowledge and information available
throughout the AirVenture grounds in one place.
features a mini forums area, indoor displays, and examples of standard
category aircraft such as the Taylorcraft, Piper Colt/Tri-Pacer, etc.
that can provide an economical pathway to flight. EAA’s staff of
experts and volunteers will also answer questions and provide
information to those seeking a less expensive way to pursue their