1942 Meyers OTW

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1942 Meyers OTW

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1942 Meyers OTW

Postby m3a1 » September 14th, 2016, 10:08 am

Image

This is a photo of my Dad's 1942 Meyers OTW. OTW was Meyers' attempt to get the government contract for trainers which was awarded to Stearman. The OTW (Out to Win) was a fine and honest airplane but, with a five cylinder Kinner 160 hp radial engine, it was outclassed by the powerful Stearman biplane. Meyers built 104 of these.

Dad purchased this aircraft sometime around 1970 (memory fails me as to the exact date). The aircraft had been used to tow banners. Some time later, Dad cracked it up on a landing on a sod landing strip after accidentally dipping the right wingtip into the corn adjacent to the strip. His attention was momentarily focused on the cars parked along the strip on the left side and the plane was a bit squirrely on landings and take-offs owing to a missing tail-wheel return spring (which we found out about later on the rebuild). So, with the right wingtip in the corn, the plane took a hard right, went up on its nose, rotated once and balanced there for a second before tipping over, upside down.

Dad restored the plane, having new wings made and taking the fuselage down to bare aluminum. As I was quite young and small, it became my job to strip the interior of the fuselage, removing paint from around a bazillion rivets with toothbrushes and toothpicks and a lot of old rags. Despite having a fan to keep the air moving back there, I can say, with some authority, that one can lose quite a few brain cells when locked up in an aluminum tube with Red Devil paint remover. But I came away reasonably intact and the plane came out beautifully. Dad was a Marlboro man and the paint selection relates directly to the colors found on boxes of Marlboro cigarettes. Dad has passed but N34331 carries on with a new owner.
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby rickf » September 14th, 2016, 4:36 pm

A friend of my dad had a Stearman and I got to go up pretty often way back when. I loved those old open planes and you cannot beat the sound of a radial engine. anytime I hear one today I will stop what I am doing and scan the sky.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby m3a1 » September 14th, 2016, 4:45 pm

Right! Same here.

The restraints in these old birds are made for adults. Dad used to stack up some rather firm pillows for me to sit on. One day I failed to strap in tight enough and Dad was into the second point of a four-point roll (inverted) when my pillows became earthbound which left me hanging upside down, essentially supported only by the shoulder straps. Oh boy, did I howl into the Gosport Tube! Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaad! Of course Dad, who was behind me, had already seen what had happened and casually proceeded to points three and four. Then we circled the fields until we found the pillows and rounded them up after landing so as not to gum up some farmer's harvester.
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby rickf » September 14th, 2016, 6:30 pm

Inverted was fun, the guy I flew with was a cropduster and an old barnstormer so needless to say I got some really interesting rides. Inverted under a bridge was one I will not forget because someone on the boat coming the other way jumped off! Thankfully they were not the captain and they were retrieved. He did not stay around long after that for fear of getting reported. Just long enough to make sure the boat turned around and from way up in the air. :roll: He never did that again that I know of. These pilots used to love to scare the hell out of you so they would do some crazy stuff. I think those days are long past, enjoy the memories.
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby 199th mp » September 14th, 2016, 6:54 pm

my dad first started flying as a sergeant pilot in the RCAF during the war. after he got his commission and became a flying officer, he moved on to instructor work. it was there, while flying harvards, that he survived a midair collision. seeing this old beauty brought that back to mind.
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby rickf » September 14th, 2016, 9:31 pm

That is not something you generally survive, how about the other pilot?
1964 M151A1
1984 M1008
1967 M416
04/1952 M100
12/1952 M100- Departed
AN/TSQ-114A Trailblazer- Gone
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby 199th mp » September 15th, 2016, 5:49 am

rickf wrote:That is not something you generally survive, how about the other pilot?


i don't know. as boys, we heard this story often, while growing up. it wasn't until he passed away, and we were going through stuff, that we found the artifacts related to the story. he had never shown them to us. a badly damaged khaki shirt, torn parachute webbing, a newspaper clipping and a WW2 vintage swiss watch. the article didn't mention the other pilot, and dad never said anything about him. i have the watch, my older brother has the rest. what saved dad, is that the plane didn't catch fire when it crashed. good thing for me.
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Re: 1942 Meyers OTW

Postby m3a1 » September 15th, 2016, 7:30 am

Too bad he never spoke of it with you but that's how Dads roll sometimes.

In the 1960s, my Dad had a friend who was a WWI fighter pilot. The guy smoked like a chimney and was older than dirt and had skin that looked like beef jerky. He used to tell me stories of dogfights in the classic WWI fighter pilot way - two hands held high, each representing the hunter and the hunted. Classic stuff and what a privilege to have spent some time with him.

Dad also had a Mooney Mk21 which was a totally different experience than the biplane. When I flew with my Dad in the biplane it was leather flying caps, goggles, engine exhaust and lots of wind in the face.

Good stuff!
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