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Old 01-02-2013, 01:53 PM   #1
KittyHawk
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Default Chasing Seaplane History!

Information, stories, history and photographs sought:

I purchased an old biplane, a 1931 Viking Kitty Hawk with registration number NC975M. Researching its history as part of the restoration process, I learned that it spent most of its flying life on EDO 2260 floats, flying sightseers over Lake Winnipesaukee from the mid-1940's to 1974, when it crashed in a field after taking off from Paugus Bay Seaplane Base. It was in storage from 1974 until I began rebuilding her in 2011.

The owners while she flew visitors to the lake were William Harman, then Bill Muzzey and back to William Harman thru 1974. I am attempting to locate these gentlemen for their input, of course. While that plays out, I am asking Forum members to search their memories and photo archives to see if anyone has info to help me with this quest. I will try to attach a photo of the plane at Paugus Bay with this post to refresh 40 year memories. If you can help, PM me, please!
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:28 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum KH. I'm sure you will get many responses here as we have more than a few aeronautical historians. Good luck with your project.
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Old 01-02-2013, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Help is on the way!

You've been sent a PM. The contact will surely tell you that's not an old biplane...
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Old 01-02-2013, 03:46 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Acres per Second View Post
You've been sent a PM. The contact will surely tell you that's not an old biplane...
Not Old..?? The FAA registration (Tail) number indicates the plane IS a 1931 Kittyhawk...OR is a replica with the same tail number. The engine listed also seems to be an original five cylinder Kinner R5 radial.. NB

EDIT: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinner_R-5
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Old 01-02-2013, 04:59 PM   #5
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Default Nc975m

Thanks for the replies! Glad to be aboard.

A/S: For your Dad, it's not old - he grew up in that era. For the rest of us, it's 80!

Yes, the plane I am referring to IS the original - not a replica by any stretch. It is the one in the photo I attached which shows it afloat on Winnipesaukee. The factory engine in 1931 was a Kinner K-5 but William Harman (I believe) replaced the 100 HP K-5 with a larger Kinner R-56 of 160 HP. That made for a much better ride hopping airplane.

This plane was built at New Haven, CT, sold new to the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and was used to instruct students and faculty in one of the first such college programs in the US. Spent some time later kicking around VA before moving in stages to NYC and NH. I just brought her home to VA in 2011 after an 80 year absence. Once she's back in the air, I plan to resume ride-hopping in her since it's the only life she's known.

Attached is a photo of how she looked when I took her on.
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Old 01-02-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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Welcome aboard Kittyhawk. Look in the "History" section of this forum. There is some chatter over there relative to early aviation on the lake. Your (this) thread may be moved over there. NB

EDIT: Is that plane Metal "Skinned"....

Last edited by NoBozo; 01-02-2013 at 08:52 PM.
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Old 01-03-2013, 04:24 AM   #7
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Default Metal Skin?

About 90% of the airplane is fabric covered, originally Grade A Cotton, more recently a dacron product called Ceconite. Same nitrate and butyrate dope as used from the factory.

The basic underlying structure of the body (fuselage) is steel tubing, fabric covered. Up front near the engine there are several thin aluminum panels/cowlings. They are there for fire protection and ease of access for engine maintenance. The wings are all wood structure covered by fabric.

Thanks for the vector inside the Forum. I will look there. Wherever this post thread ends up, I am sure there will be a story or two about NC975M and the barnstormers who pioneered aerial sightseeing on this Lake.
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Old 01-03-2013, 06:23 AM   #8
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Talking Instant Gratification Needed!

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Originally Posted by KittyHawk View Post
"...Wherever this post thread ends up, I am sure there will be a story or two about NC975M and the barnstormers who pioneered aerial sightseeing on this Lake..."
Please call the telephone number I gave you today .

It may be a week before the recipient gets a printout of this inquiry, and I can't wait!
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:39 AM   #9
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Default Aviation Museum of New Hampshire

Just heard from Jack Ferns, Director of the Aviation Museum of NH, who had some interesting leads about pioneer flying and flyers in New Hampshire. We'll see if these lead anywhere with the investigation of NC975M's flying exploits. I plan on a Museum visit when winter breaks - and suggest all here stop in when passing Londonderry.

Might be mundane for some, but I find it intriguing that two barnstormers spent nearly every summer in the 1940's to 70's flying on floats from Paugus Bay Seaplane Base in this 1931 Kitty Hawk biplane. Because I live and fly in the Shenandoah Valley, she'll not return to the air on EDO's, but I will carry photos and notes about those decades with us on our own 21st century adventures. Restorers almost all carry a scrapbook on their planes' histories, repairs, resurrections and legacies. Makes for interesting reading. Any I receive from Lake Winnipesaukee will be added to the book.

A/S: out of town until SAT, will call Sun at 1155. Son's furnace was out for 2 days and no repairman wanted to work the weekend, so we had fun learning a new trade.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:12 PM   #10
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I had a ride in this airplane in 1952! I worked at Sandy Island that summer and one of the events of the summer was sort of a Fair Day and one of the events of the day was ride in Bill Muzzey's airplane. It was a real thrill.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:59 AM   #11
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Default Photo of the Kitty Hawk you flew

Here is a color photo of this Kitty Hawk at about that time frame, Bobe. Glad to hear from you and good to know that Bill Muzzey and his plane made such a lasting impression on you.
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:39 AM   #12
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ApS: out of town until SAT, will call Sun at 1155.
To assure that my Dad would not be napping, I called at 11:30.

We had a nice chat 'til I got to the specifics of your aircraft.

—> You have to know he can be quite the kidder.

...
ApS: ...The Kitty Hawk is not going to be restored with the EDO floats.
Dad: Oh?
ApS: What do the letters EDO stand for?
Dad: E (garbled) D (garbled) O (garbled).
ApS: I didn't get that. The cellphone reception here isn't so good.
Dad: That's his name.
ApS: Well, what does the "O" stand for?
Dad: That's his last name.
ApS: The company had more than one name?
Dad: Not that I know of.
ApS: What did the "E" stand for?
Dad: That was his first name.
ApS: What did he end up for a name, then?
Dad: EDO.
ApS: EDO was his name?
Dad: Yes.
ApS: Did you get much snow?

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After that Abbott and Costello routine, I went to Google to look it up.

EDO Corporation was named after its founder: Earl Dodge Osborne.

BTW: Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, EDO Corporation received WWII Government contracts for amphibious floats on transport aircraft. It's interesting to watch the "rollout" of some huge floats, and how those big transport aircraft manage those floats at YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_8ccwoVZTc
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:26 AM   #13
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I think it was maybe 20 years ago, myself and a friend of mine who owned a Lake Aircraft flying boat... got a tour of the Lake Aircraft factory in Sanford, Maine. The factory was in an OLD mill building in downtown Sanford. When a plane was "ready," the major parts..fusalage, wings, etc were trucked over to Sanford airport to be assembled there.

At that time, the Lake factory was also building EDO Floats under license. The Lake flying boats didn't use floats, as the fusalage itself provided the floatation. NB

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Aircraft
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:15 AM   #14
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Default Owner Checks In

One of the Kitty Hawk Floatplane pilot/owners checked in with a bit of history about NC975M and Lake Winnipesaukee. Bill Harmon emailed with some Paugus Seaplane Base flying info. It appears the Bill Muzzey actually logged most of the passenger hops while he owned the old girl in the 1950's, flying only from June to September, about 30-40 hours a month. For those familiar with barnstorming, that is one heck of a lot of flying! Hat's off to both Bill Harmon and Bill Muzzey. Still waiting to hear from Muzzey. Anyone know where he is now, or - have any photos to post of those times?
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Old 01-13-2013, 10:39 AM   #15
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Default Seaplane Base

I believe Bill Muzzey died a number of years ago. He was around 40 years of age when he operated the seaplane base (born circa 1908). The base was located on land owned by Carl Wallace, owner of the Foxy Boats. You can see the Foxy Boats dock in the background of the photo you posted of the plane.
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Old 01-13-2013, 11:51 PM   #16
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Hey Kittyhawk! Great news that the airplane is being rebuilt. My dad, Lyman Rice, was a pilot in the Laconia area-we had a grass airstrip in the back yard up on Parade Road, where Petal Pushers is now. Bill Harmon was an airline pilot who flew various antiques in his off time. He had just rebuilt the Kittyhawk back about 1972 or so, and gave us a flyby at the house on Parade Road, when the engine quit. He said, "I ran out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas, all at the same time." He had a forced landing in the field next door and the floats tripped in the tall grass, damaging the airplane. I don't think he ever got around to work on it again, at least not much. Ironically, we had been at the house and had just headed back to our camp over in Moultonborough, so missed all the excitement. Bill is in Raymond, NH and would be glad to talk to you.

I'm attaching a picture of the airplane with Jane Steady, a Laconia girl who got her license in 1945. The image was loaned to me by Diane Cooper at the Laconia airport. I found Jane Steady Hood's obituary online-she passed away in 2003.

My interest in old airplanes is that I've just done a book on "Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviation," covering the seaplane base at the Weirs 1912-1953, but I didn't really go into the base that was on Paugus Bay, although I am interested. Thanks for your comments about the Bleriot and Curtiss aircraft on Dan Hold Pond-I've confirmed that the owner of the estate on the pond, James Albert Brackett, owned both airplanes, but don't yet know how much they actually flew.
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Old 01-14-2013, 07:49 AM   #17
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Default Photo of Jane Steady with NC975M

What a great picture, and one I'll copy for the scrapbook I am building along with the restoration of NC975M. Having such a beautiful photo of the Kitty Hawk and Jane together is perfect!

The picture is probably from the mid to late 1940's, as the Kitty Hawk has the smaller 125 hp B-5 Kinner engine installed. Bill Harmon and Paschal rebuilt it and installed a larger Kinner R-56 of 160 hp in the early 1950's. It looked very different with the larger engine and a wooden propeller. Probably performed much better, too.

Trying to get some more info from Bill Harmon. Thanks for the bit about the incident. Yes, the Kitty Hawk took quite a whack when she hit the ground. Enough so the the wings cracked, the floats are smashed and the fuselage steel tubing is bent. All in all, it will be a fun restoration!

You're probably right about Bill Muzzey, though it is a shame, as he was the owner who flew the daylights out of NC975M, ride-hopping sightseers for several years from Paugus Bay.

You've given me a few leads to run down, too. We'll see where they go. Many thanks for sharing the photo. Wonder if Jane Steady pursued a flying career or stuck with pleasure flying.
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Old 01-19-2013, 04:48 AM   #18
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Default Thanks to Waco1148

I was copied in on an email thread from you which ran to Dick Jackson, looking for stories on this Kitty Hawk - my thanks to you for pursuing the investigation further for me!

New wing spars for all 4 wing panels are roughed out. A local specialty cabinet mill with a huge CNC pin router cut out the pockets - the time consuming part of the job. A few hours of finish trimming and drilling and we'll be building wings instead of tearing them apart - a sure sign of progress.

The original wings were built by Bill Harmon for the Kitty Hawk's owner at the time, a Mr. Champlin. It is a shame we can't save even one for the restoration - they were beautiful. Here's a photo of the upper panels after being in storage from 1973-2011.

The second shot is NC975M with her first owner, the College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA. W&M started one of the first college flight training programs for students and faculty at Scott Airfield, VA, using two Kitty Hawks and several other planes for instructing and commercial flights. The deepening Depression forced the flight school to close around 1934. That's the William and Mary college crest on the aft fuselage. The Kitty Hawk came from the factory a dark green with gold trim, the College's school colors. Right now, I'm considering dark blue with orange accents done in a 1930's art deco style.

Thanks again - and let's keep searching! Bill Harmon is the only owner we've found to date. Champlin and Paschley are two names I would like to trace and contact for their side of this story. Blue skies!
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Old 01-19-2013, 07:14 PM   #19
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Sorry to say, Bill Champlin has passed away several years ago. I'm not having any luck finding an obituary but he would be pushing 100 if he were still around. He was the operator of Skyhaven airport in both Rochester and in Laconia, back in the 1940s, so perhaps owned the airplane for hopping passengers.
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:09 AM   #20
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Quote:
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"...I was copied in on an email thread from you which ran to Dick Jackson, looking for stories on this Kitty Hawk - my thanks to you for pursuing the investigation further for me! ..."
One Internet source you both might consider—abandoned airports of New Hampshire:

http://www.airfields-freeman.com/NH/Airfields_NH.htm

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"...The original wings were built by Bill Harmon for the Kitty Hawk's owner at the time, a Mr. Champlin. It is a shame we can't save even one for the restoration..."
I don't see why not...

Aircraft have flown with less.



http://www.taurusarmed.net/forums/lo...7-amazing.html
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:23 AM   #21
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Default Bill Champlin News

Yes, Bill Champlin was the owner of NC975M, hiring a young Bill Harmon as a pilot/mechanic to work on rebuilding the Kitty Hawk and to fly for him at Skyhaven Air Service. From what I read from Bill Harmon, the Kitty Hawk and Bill Champlin gave him a leg up in flying which led to a tremendous career as a pilot for American Airlines.

Skyhaven owned the Kitty Hawk, rebuilt it and flew passengers from the Lake for just a short time before selling it to Bill Muzzey. Muzzey made real use of her for almost a decade, flying from Paugus Bay Seaplane Base, according to his notes in the airplane logbooks. At the end, Bill had one very tired airframe, which he sold to Bill Harmon and Mr. Pashley.

They rebuilt her over the course of many years, finally flying in 1973 for a total of 4 hours before the engine quit and she went down just past Mr. Lyman Rice's grass strip. Bill Harmon put the pieces in his garage until 2007, when he sold it to a gentleman from CT who moved it into another storage garage.

I found her in 2011 and began restoration in earnest with hopes to fly in 2014 - " Lord willin' and the crick don't rise." Then, we'll head up Lake Winnipesaukee way for a reunion.
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Old 01-22-2013, 03:23 PM   #22
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Can't wait. Make sure you make an announcement here when you intend to fly in.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:37 AM   #23
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Default Jane Rice's book on Bob Fogg

Just completed Jane Rice's book on Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviaiton. Found it on Amazon.com. Found it informative and instructional on several levels. Primarily, it tells of a time in early NE aviation when heroic actions, rescues, sub-arctic adventures, daredevil flying, triumphs and tragedies were apparently the norm for this WWI aviator and his associates. The primitive flyers' world was filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges - which Bob Fogg took on in the normal course of his daily flying world. Great book to glean a better historical perspective about pioneer aviators as well as the times in which they prospered.

Secondly, and of great interest to me, is the intellectual pathway Jane Rice followed to compile and compose each chapter of this book. She brings us along with her while researching and discovering lost facts and archival notes, sleuthing that is intriguing and informative. This makes the book much more than simply a good read about old guys and airplanes hanging out at a neat Lake.

Next question from someone from where we still say "ya'll" - is Weirs pronounced as in its German derivative - "Wires" or is it "Weers"? Just asking. Thanks!
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Old 02-07-2013, 10:07 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KittyHawk View Post
Just completed Jane Rice's book on Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviaiton. Found it on Amazon.com. Found it informative and instructional on several levels. Primarily, it tells of a time in early NE aviation when heroic actions, rescues, sub-arctic adventures, daredevil flying, triumphs and tragedies were apparently the norm for this WWI aviator and his associates. The primitive flyers' world was filled with seemingly insurmountable challenges - which Bob Fogg took on in the normal course of his daily flying world. Great book to glean a better historical perspective about pioneer aviators as well as the times in which they prospered.

Secondly, and of great interest to me, is the intellectual pathway Jane Rice followed to compile and compose each chapter of this book. She brings us along with her while researching and discovering lost facts and archival notes, sleuthing that is intriguing and informative. This makes the book much more than simply a good read about old guys and airplanes hanging out at a neat Lake.

Next question from someone from where we still say "ya'll" - is Weirs pronounced as in its German derivative - "Wires" or is it "Weers"? Just asking. Thanks!
"Weird Beach" is still pronounced "Weirs Beach". (Hopes this helps )

Using this source to benefit this forum, I ordered my copy yesterday—and sent it to my Dad in Wolfeboro for his 96th birthday.

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Old 04-25-2013, 02:13 AM   #25
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I just received my copy of Jane Rice's book. I was disappointed with the quality of the photos in the book. Many of them were underexposed and didn't print well on the poor quality of the paper used iin the publication. I wish that I hadn't purchased it.

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Old 05-05-2013, 09:51 PM   #26
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I'm sorry that you were disappointed in the book, although you are the first that I have heard that from.

As far as the quality of the images, most are copied from 80-year-old small black and white snapshots, so there is a limit to the print quality that can be achieved. I think I was lucky to find as much as I did to help to preserve this aspect of Winnipesaukee and aviation history. I would love to have put out a glossy coffee-table book with full page images, but I'm just a local author with a story to tell, not National Geographic. To produce a book of that type would have been cost prohibitive, and I'm sure more people will enjoy learning about this story for $19.95 than would pay coffee-table book prices.

I looked back to my contact with the publisher, and the book is printed on 60 lb. house white paper, which is typical for the publishing industry. It is bright white and opaque enough for the pictures not to show through from the opposite side of the page. For comparison, typical copy paper is 20 lbs. Hope this clarifies carguy's issues with the book for any other potential readers. I'd be glad to hear what any other readers or purchasers of the book have to say, positive or negative.

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Old 07-24-2013, 08:09 AM   #27
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I suppose there is always someone who finds a way to be displeased with something. Personally, I think what Jane has done is a remarkable feat on many levels. That the photographs exist at all is somewhat amazing, and that the story is told with such clarity is a true gift to those of us with an interest in history.

Many stories that I have heard for my entire life have been put in context and straightened out. By the time I came along, the seaplane ramps at my grandparents house had long been out of use. I have a few memories of Lyman coming out to Stonedam in either a Cub on floats or his Lake amphibian.

Of topic here to be sure, but really Carguy, lighten up and enjoy a good read. Don't be so concerned about the graininess of 80 year old photos, look at the content and be amazed.

Jon
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Old 07-24-2013, 11:30 AM   #28
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Will you be giving free rides to all forum members and their family members?
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Old 07-24-2013, 05:56 PM   #29
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Back in the fifties my dad took me on the seaplane that flew out of Paugus bay. I think I have some video getting on the plane taking off and then landing. I will look around my moms old files this weekend and if I do will see if I can figure out how to post them although with-my tech. skills I dunno
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:02 PM   #30
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Default Family ties to the Kittyhawk mid 50's

Kittyhawk
I've been looking for this plane for a very long time! Thanks to Jane Rice and her book on Bob Fogg, (photos in the book were fine by the way!), where digging into the various clues, (Skyhaven and others), got me to this very post on the Winni Forum.

Back in the mid 50's, my father and mother BOTH flew this Kittyhawk, and once, with me, as a toddler, in it! Back in those days, my grandparents had a camp up on Tommy's Cove on the Lake, (subsequently they moved Meredith Bay where I now live). My dad, a pilot from Massachusetts, got to be friends with Bill Muzzey and eventually hopped passengers for Bill out of the Paugus Base during the summer. I have attached (or am trying to attach) a picture of my dad alongside the Kittyhawk, now in your hands.

I was originally thinking, from the book, that the Kittyhawk, (that's what Mom and Dad always called it), was the Waco NC8531, but of course, it's not. In Jane's book, she writes that the Waco was purchased by Bill Muzzey and I didn't know he had more than one plane! Comparing my picture to the one in the book, the engine was wrong as were the windshields and the wing supports, but the pontoons were right and the cockpit door looked the same.

Now of course, the mystery is solved and Kittyhawk is found! I'm officially inviting you up to the Lake next summer, when hopefully you could take my Mom for a short ride in the biplane she took her flying lessons in as a young mom. She was so excited when I told her I found the plane. I would even contribute to getting some pontoons on your "ship", as I assume from Jane's book that this can be done relatively easily? Even with wheels, my mom, at a young 86, would still be thrilled beyond words to go up for a flight over the lake, as would I. Dad will have to watch from much further above.

At any rate, ride or not, I'm so glad to have "found" the Kittyhawk, and thank you so much for posting and asking for historical contributions, and for restoring that beautiful airplane!
Now I'm considering going after my own license and hope to be able to someday fly an open cockpit biplane over this enchanting lake. Bucket list for sure!

Not sure how to PM, but would be happy to exchange contact info. My parents names may very well be in the logbooks.
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:05 PM   #31
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Default Family ties

This is the photo I have of my Dad and the Kittyhawk.
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Old 08-14-2013, 09:22 AM   #32
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Great story Loonwatch and welcome to the forum.
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Old 09-16-2013, 10:08 AM   #33
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Default Great Kittyhawk picture

Thanks Loonwatch for posting this picture, and it was nice to hear that the Bob Fogg book clarified some history for you. That's why I wrote it!
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Old 09-16-2013, 05:03 PM   #34
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That is one great photo of your Dad! And a perfect tale to add to the history of the Kitty Hawk. Yes, that is NC975M your Dad is standing with. I will have to scout the old logbooks to see if his name is entered. Most of the entries are just flight times, sometimes listing the pilot, sometimes not.

Please tell your Mom to hold on for another year or two for the flight - I'm struggling to finish 2 other planes before I can get to fixing the Kitty Hawk. I plan to fly her up to Winnipesaukee on wheels, not floats, but we can still cruise over the lake. My bucket list trip is to fly the Kitty Hawk up to New Haven, CT where she was born, the on to the Lake and north to Canada for some sightseeing.

First, she needs a lot of rebuilding! I will keep you posted.

Please keep the photos and stories coming! What a fabulous history. Bob Coolbaugh
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Old 09-18-2013, 03:51 AM   #35
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Question "Lakes Region Air Park"—Where...???

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Information, stories, history and photographs sought:

I purchased an old biplane, a 1931 Viking Kitty Hawk with registration number NC975M. Researching its history as part of the restoration process, I learned that it spent most of its flying life on EDO 2260 floats, flying sightseers over Lake Winnipesaukee from the mid-1940's to 1974, when it crashed in a field after taking off from Paugus Bay Seaplane Base. It was in storage from 1974 until I began rebuilding her in 2011.

The owners while she flew visitors to the lake were William Harman, then Bill Muzzey and back to William Harman thru 1974. I am attempting to locate these gentlemen for their input, of course. While that plays out, I am asking Forum members to search their memories and photo archives to see if anyone has info to help me with this quest. I will try to attach a photo of the plane at Paugus Bay with this post to refresh 40 year memories. If you can help, PM me, please!

At the Wolfeboro library, a recent publication has appeared—courtesy of the Town of Wolfeboro.



I looked through my copy of Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviation and didn't find this photo—below—which appears within this current Wolfeboro pamphlet.

Labeled "Lakes Region Air Park", the name apparently refers to the Laconia "Seaplane Base". The Wolfeboro name "Lakes Region Air Park" was adopted before 1979 because the signage at Wolfeboro's Little Airport showed "Lakes Region Air Park" printed in large letters on its present-day hanger.

(Remnants of the sign "Lakes Region Air Park" remained legible for years).

Had it been Wolfeboro's "Lakes Region Air Park", I should have remembered the occasion at the (later-day) "Air Park", but that photographed occasion (below) may have been too brief. OTOH, the purported location seems to be very different in its later-day surroundings—we never had such a "crowd" at the shoreline, the horizon's tree-line is very different, and somebody's moved that boulder!



So, to appear in a Wolfeboro-produced pamphlet, the caption is likely misleading—perhaps, instead, it taken at Merwin Horn's downtown Wolfeboro location. (I think the photo likely refers to a location other than Wolfeboro). But the important thing is to add still another photographic piece to the history of Lake Winnipesaukee's own Kitty Hawk—NC975M.

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Old 09-24-2013, 10:09 AM   #36
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Here is yet another image of NC975M, resting at the ramp in Paugus Bay. I look forward to the day when Kittyhawk will again fly over the waters of Winnipesaukee!
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Old 12-12-2013, 08:24 AM   #37
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Default ....an old widgeon on Winnipesaukee?

nh.craigslist.org/boa/4200974517.html in the NH boats category..... just happened to notice it while looking for a super-bargain sailboat. Check out the last photo, photo #6 ...... is that Timber Island with the hill leading up to Gunstock Mt in the background?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013 ad with good photos of a Grumman Widgeon amphibian airplane for sale.... looks like a serious handyman type of a project putting this old widgeon back together.....to say the least.....yikes? .....probably needs more than some stainless sheet metal screws and spray rustoleum?
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Old 12-12-2013, 04:58 PM   #38
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The photo of the flying widgeon is just a google image. Not from Winni, I know the guy who posted the ad.
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:09 PM   #39
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Hey Kittyhawk! Great news that the airplane is being rebuilt. My dad, Lyman Rice, was a pilot in the Laconia area-we had a grass airstrip in the back yard up on Parade Road, where Petal Pushers is now. Bill Harmon was an airline pilot who flew various antiques in his off time. He had just rebuilt the Kittyhawk back about 1972 or so, and gave us a flyby at the house on Parade Road, when the engine quit. He said, "I ran out of altitude, airspeed, and ideas, all at the same time." He had a forced landing in the field next door and the floats tripped in the tall grass, damaging the airplane. I don't think he ever got around to work on it again, at least not much. Ironically, we had been at the house and had just headed back to our camp over in Moultonborough, so missed all the excitement. Bill is in Raymond, NH and would be glad to talk to you.

I'm attaching a picture of the airplane with Jane Steady, a Laconia girl who got her license in 1945. The image was loaned to me by Diane Cooper at the Laconia airport. I found Jane Steady Hood's obituary online-she passed away in 2003.

My interest in old airplanes is that I've just done a book on "Bob Fogg and New Hampshire's Golden Age of Aviation," covering the seaplane base at the Weirs 1912-1953, but I didn't really go into the base that was on Paugus Bay, although I am interested. Thanks for your comments about the Bleriot and Curtiss aircraft on Dan Hold Pond-I've confirmed that the owner of the estate on the pond, James Albert Brackett, owned both airplanes, but don't yet know how much they actually flew.

Thank you SO much for posting this! Jane Steady, later Jane Steady Hood, is my grandmother and while we do have one stellar shot of her in a cockpit with her goggles on, NONE of us had ever seen this before!
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:23 PM   #40
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What a great picture, and one I'll copy for the scrapbook I am building along with the restoration of NC975M. Having such a beautiful photo of the Kitty Hawk and Jane together is perfect!

The picture is probably from the mid to late 1940's, as the Kitty Hawk has the smaller 125 hp B-5 Kinner engine installed. Bill Harmon and Paschal rebuilt it and installed a larger Kinner R-56 of 160 hp in the early 1950's. It looked very different with the larger engine and a wooden propeller. Probably performed much better, too.

Trying to get some more info from Bill Harmon. Thanks for the bit about the incident. Yes, the Kitty Hawk took quite a whack when she hit the ground. Enough so the the wings cracked, the floats are smashed and the fuselage steel tubing is bent. All in all, it will be a fun restoration!

You're probably right about Bill Muzzey, though it is a shame, as he was the owner who flew the daylights out of NC975M, ride-hopping sightseers for several years from Paugus Bay.

You've given me a few leads to run down, too. We'll see where they go. Many thanks for sharing the photo. Wonder if Jane Steady pursued a flying career or stuck with pleasure flying.

Jane was my grandmother... she didn't pursue a career in flying, though she enjoyed it very much. She obtained a degree in mathematics from Colby College and worked for Sloan-Kettering before raising four children in NYC/PA before retiring back to NH. Flight and astronomy remained among her top interests throughout her life.

Edit to add: She got her pilot's license in 1945, when she was sixteen & was married in 1948 ... so the photo would likely have been sometime during those years -- just to verify as I noted you were discussing dates.

This photo was such a treat to find -- none of us in the family had seen it before!
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Old 04-24-2015, 02:58 PM   #41
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Love seeing conections being made through the internet.Great photo by the way of your grandmother.Does she have relatives in NH?I know a Paul Steady.
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Old 04-24-2015, 06:20 PM   #42
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Post Background from 1932...

Two photos of NC975M appear at http://www.airfields-freeman.com/VA/...VA_Hampton.htm. (Middle of the page).

This photo below shows a landing-light attached at the wing root in 1932. The other is the same as one previously published here, but apparently from a different source. Starting the engine when afloat was tricky.
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:25 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJaneHood View Post
Jane was my grandmother... she didn't pursue a career in flying, though she enjoyed it very much. She obtained a degree in mathematics from Colby College and worked for Sloan-Kettering before raising four children in NYC/PA before retiring back to NH. Flight and astronomy remained among her top interests throughout her life.

Edit to add: She got her pilot's license in 1945, when she was sixteen & was married in 1948 ... so the photo would likely have been sometime during those years -- just to verify as I noted you were discussing dates.

This photo was such a treat to find -- none of us in the family had seen it before!
EJaneHood: Many thanks for checking in regarding Jane Steady Hood's photo with Kitty Hawk NC975M. I have to say that Jane has one of the most charming, wholesome, beautiful expressions, captured in that one photo. She must have been a wonderful lady!

You mentioned another photo of her in goggles and helmet. Is it also taken with this Kitty Hawk? Sure would be great if you could post it on this forum. Lots of interested folks here! Bob Coolbaugh
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:14 AM   #44
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Default Kitty Hawk NC975M Restoration

Folks: I know posts are few and far between, apologies. I really have been hard at work on the restoration of NC975M, the Kitty Hawk which flew for decades from Paugus Bay. She's in the final, though lengthy stages of covering, painting and assembly right now. I will try to post a few current photos. Trying to get her flying towards the end of this year or early next. Patience and perseverance.
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Old 05-27-2017, 06:50 AM   #45
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This is one of the 4 wing panels in the early stages of covering. The wings will be the last to be painted this summer. Using nitrate and butyrate dope as the New Haven factory originally did in 1931. The Kitty Hawk fuselage in the background was just prior to its turn in the paint booth. It is now getting the Kinner engine installed and plumbed.
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