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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:14 am 
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Greetings WIX'ers

One of Wichita's most obscure aircraft was the Buckley Wichcraft. It was produced in 1930. It actually gained orders for 200 aircraft from the Yellow Cab Air Company, but both businesses folded due to the economic circumstances of the Great Depression. It was an advanced design of all metal construction. It was a cabin airplane with corrugated wing skins, powered by the R-985. The designer was William Stout, of the Ford Trimotor and SkyCar fame.

Following the bankruptcy, the sole example of the Buckley LC-4 Wichcraft was first sold to Deats Air Service of Grand Island, Nebraska.

On 12/8/1934 it was sold to Lola Virginia Fisher of Tulsa, Oklahoma. Correspondence in the name of R.F. Fisher, Downtown Chevrolet. Address change to 15 East 10th Street, Tulsa, Oklahoma. That is now a parking lot.

From there the trail goes cold. License expired 12/1/35; and the file was canceled. The N number was NC499W.

So, using the power of the internet, I am trying to see if any descendent, relative, Tulsan, or aviation fan has any memories, pictures, fragments of, or knowledge of the final disposition of the Buckley Wichcraft in Tulsa. If there is anyone out there that knows anyone they can ask about this, that would be great. I am researching this for our local museum, and it will help us fill in some missing gaps for a display. The Smithsonian has been contacted, and they have less than we do. Please post any information here, or Private Message me.
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Shameless plug for our museum:
http://www.kansasaviationmuseum.org/

Thanks!

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Last edited by Edward Sheetmetalhands on Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 10:54 am 
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Good looking plane, even if they didn't quite get the wing on straight (see last pic). I can't help you much, but I wonder if perhaps it was sold to a movie company, as seems the fate of so many obscure 1930's one-offs.

-Tim

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:11 am 
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Tiger Tim wrote:
Good looking plane, even if they didn't quite get the wing on straight (see last pic). I can't help you much, but I wonder if perhaps it was sold to a movie company, as seems the fate of so many obscure 1930's one-offs.

-Tim


Gulp. It does look a little off in that photo, but perhaps the right front main wheel was in a chuck hole in the grass field, causing some flex. :wink: It looks straighter in this photo...
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:20 am 
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I think we should consider the possibility that the Buckley ended up at the Spartan factory on north Sheridan. The airplane was sold to a Tulsan in '34 and design of the Spartan Model 7 (Executive prototype) began in '35. The basic layout and general planform of the Wichcraft and the Executive are remarkably similar. The Model 7 was Spartan's first all-aluminum modern design and I wonder if the Buckley wasn't disassembled and studied during the design phase of the Exec.

Perhaps looking for a link between R.F. or Lola Virginia Fisher and someone at Spartan would be of assistance.

Scott


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:44 am 
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Second Air Force wrote:
I think we should consider the possibility that the Buckley ended up at the Spartan factory on north Sheridan. The airplane was sold to a Tulsan in '34 and design of the Spartan Model 7 (Executive prototype) began in '35. The basic layout and general planform of the Wichcraft and the Executive are remarkably similar. The Model 7 was Spartan's first all-aluminum modern design and I wonder if the Buckley wasn't disassembled and studied during the design phase of the Exec.

Perhaps looking for a link between R.F. or Lola Virginia Fisher and someone at Spartan would be of assistance.

Scott


Scott,

Good ideas, I have compared photos of the structure of the wings of both aircraft, and the wings at least are completely different... The Buckley used a front and aft spar of trussed aluminum, but the Spartan used a single middle spar made of three welded steel tubes trussed together in a triangle form. Buckley wing spars in the left background of this photo:

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Maybe someone can post or link a photo of the Spartan wing spar. The Spartan spar is most unusual!

The Spartan had retractable gear and a curved windshield; Buckley didn't. But they do have many similarities; powerplant, weight, 4 place cabin seating are nearly identical. Buckley had a bunch more wing span; 11 feet. If anything the concept of the Buckley served as an inspiration and nothing more.

But really all we want to do is find more information out about the Buckley. A fragment would be a bonus!

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PostPosted: Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:45 pm 
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did it ever fly in the bermuda triangle?many,many, planes disappeared there. friggin triangle

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:18 pm 
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Several years ago, 'Wings of Peace' had a link to forgotten airplanes and manufacturers of Kansas, there were some 'interesting' and some downright wierd looking aircraft built in Kansas, try contacting them for assistance-

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PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:42 pm 
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Inspector,

Looks like that will be a very interesting website once up and running... so far it is under construction and not much contact info. They do have a lot of good links to modeler's pages. I might post a set of 1/6 scale Knoll blueprints on there sometime.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:18 pm 
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Here is the Spartan spar, and the retractable gear. I have this raw photo somewhere, but for now this is the best I can do on short notice...

kevin

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:45 pm 
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Who would have thought a Spartan fuselage contained another smaller fuselage?

-Tim

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:44 pm 
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tulsaboy wrote:
Here is the Spartan spar, and the retractable gear. I have this raw photo somewhere, but for now this is the best I can do on short notice...

kevin

Image


As Kevin's illustration shows, the Spartan spar used three welded steel tubes, two on top, one on the bottom; forming a triangular cross section through the wing.

The Buckley used aluminum "T" extrusions for the upper and lower spar caps, connected with brakeformed stiffeners bent up slightly into a shallow channel or left flat, depending on the location. Sometimes the brakeformed ones are doubled up, back to back. The Buckley had both a forward and an aft wing spar.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 9:35 am 
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Since we're showing what is underneath our skirts...

Here is a photo of the interior structure of the Spartan Executive, taken at the factory circa 1936.

kevin

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 03, 2011 9:07 pm 
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Hey Sheetmetalhands, why not send a photo of theBuckley to Graham Orphan at Classic Wings mag for the 'mystery plane' photo?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 05, 2016 1:52 pm 
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That plane was built by my Great Grandfather and I too would be very interested in knowing it's final resting place. Both of his sons have since passed and with them much of the information on the company and aircrafts.

Thank you,

Alaun Buckley
alaunbuckley@gmail.com


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