In addition to MAAM's P-61 Black Widow Recovery and Restoration Project, there are always other aircraft restorations underway in the busy museum shop, as well as off-site.  Here are some of those projects now underway.   Click on each photo to enlarge.

MAAM's rare tank powered Bird A-T gets a new cowling and spinner. Aft turtle deck removed fro replacement.

Bird sheet-metal forward of front seat. New lower cowl for the tank engine.

New front cowlings. Landing gear fairings.

Bird rear deck. Bird rear cockpit.

Bird baggage door.

N109K   SN 101

The search for an efficient and safe STOL, or short takeoff and landing aircraft began almost as soon as the Wright Brothers conquered the air in 1903.

In the late 1920's, Spanish inventor Juan Cierva met this challenge by inventing the Autogiro. The movement of its unpowered rotor generated sufficient lift to allow for the first true STOL aircraft performance.

Cierva licensed his aircraft to Harold Pitcairn, of Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. In 1929 the Kellett brothers, Wallace and Rodney also obtained a license to build Autogiros from the Pitcairn controlled Autogiro Company of America.

After experimenting with various designs, resulting in the non-flying K1, the company began production with the K2 and K3 models.  (A K2 model was selected by Admiral Richard Byrd for his Antarctic expedition). The compnay also developed the concept of aerial banner towing.

The Kellets began production of the KD-1 in 1935. The "D" stood for "direct control", which meant that the rotor of the wingless aircraft tilted for control, and did not depend on controls mounted on flying surfaces for directional stability.

The museum's KD-1A was used in several demonstrations of Autogiro effectiveness. It was frequently used to carry the mail from Post Office roofs to airports, as it was in 1936 at the opening of the Philadelphia Post office, and also between the Chicago Post Office and Midway Airport in 1939. In 1936 it even landed on the steps of the US Capitol for a demonstration before Congress. Its other demonstrated uses included traffic control, artillery fore direction (at Fort Indiantown Gap, in Annville, PA, and in animal count surveys by the PA Game Commission.

A military version of the KD-1, the YG-1 and YG-1A and YG-1B were produced in limited quantity for the Army Air Corps.

It was leased, restored, and flown by Kellett in 1958-1959, with the intent of again marketing the Autogiro concept. It remained in storage from 1962 until 1993. Despite the effectiveness of Cierva's original concept, the use of Autogiros "gave way" with the introduction of the helicopter.

The KD-1A, the oldest of three Kellett  direct control aircraft known to exist, was donated to the Museum in 1993.

CURRENT STATUS: Under restoration, on display.


Engine: Jacobs L4MA7 (245 hp)
Rotor Span: 40 Feet
Length: 28 Feet, 10 Inches
Height: 10 Feet, 3 Inches
Minimum Speed, level flight: 22 MPH
Maximum Speed: 126 MPH

Kellett LH engine accessory section. Kellett RH accessory section and clutch mechanisim..

Kellett rotor mast mount and transmission. Kellett rotor mast.


N727W   SN 138

The first Kinner Sportster was the model K, produced in 1932 by the Kinner Airplane and Motor Co. of Glendale California. It was a two place side by side open cockpit monoplane powered by a 5 cylinder Kinner K engine of 100 hp. It had optional folding wings, an optional removable coupe top doors, and heater for cold weather flying and could be equipped with a wood or optional ground adjustable metal propeller, wing root baggage lockers on each side, was approved for operation on skies, and was a popular sport flying and training aircraft of the time.

An improved model the Sportster B was identical to the K except for having a 125 hp Kinner B engine. The engine model designation is what gives the specific model designation to the airplane itself. These two models were equipped with wing of a 39 foot wing span and a chord of 6 ft.. Additional power to a given airframe generally nets just a small increase in its top speed or cruise speed, but it usually results in much increased climb performance.

Enter the Kinner Sportster model B-1. This model, of which only two are known to have been produced, was equipped with the same Kinner B engine of 125 hp, however the wing span was reduced to 34ft 4 inches. This resulted in giving the B-1 an increased top and cruise speeds, with climb performance which was more than adequate for the design and more sprightly aileron response over the long wing models. A follow on model was the B-2 which also featured the 125 hp engine and the short wing of the B-1, but it had a full NACA type engine cowl and a landing gear which was equipped with “spats” resulting in a racy appearance. Follow on models were the Kinner Sportwing, Playboy, and Envoy.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Two Side by side
  • Powerplant: 1 × Kinner B-5, 125 HP
  • Wing Span: 39' ("B), 34' 5.5" ("B-1")


  • Maximum speed: 112 MPH
  • Cruising speed: 98 MPH
  • Range: 440 miles

Kinner Sportster wing struts painted black and ready for installation

metal inspection panels for wings painted black

top side of right hand Kinner wing

top side of right hand Kinner wing

the Grimes model B navigation light mounted on the fin

the Kinner factory logo on the verticle fin

bottom side of the left-hand Kinner wing -bottom side of the right-hand Kinner wing

one of the Kinner Sportster wing locker baggage compartments completed Kinner Sportster vertical fin

a bullet spinner for the Hamilton Standard ground adjustable propeller both Kinner Sportster wings are complete and await installation

The sleek swept back windshield is now installed.

Massive wing struts.

The fin and stabilizer.

Original pyramid aluminum wing walks.

The wing walk and baggage locker cover.

Right wing with struts and aileron.

RH elevator and stabilizer

The windshield LH door and door sill.

Engine cowling, windshield, wings, and struts installed.

Looking like it's ready to fire up!

RH door sill and pyramid aluminum scuff plate. Kinner right wing.

View showing the spectacular red and black paint scheme The completed Kinner Sportster

Another great view of the Kinner on grass Original exhaust collector ring on the Kinner B5 engine

Anne Fichera and Trisha Rogan reunited with the Kinner Sportster Former owner Joe Fichera's daughter Trisha Rogan reunited with the Sportster after 38 years!

N727W in the mid-'60s in Iowa


     Ford "B" powered

The Pietenpol Air Camper is a simple homebuilt aircraft designed by Bernard H. Pietenpol. The first prototype that became the Air Camper was built and flown by Pietenpol in 1928.

The Air Camper was designed to be built of spruce and plywood. One of Pietenpol's goal was to create a plane that was affordable and easy to construct for home builders. Building an Air Camper requires basic woodworking skills and tools. Builders also need to fabricate some metal fittings to attach the wooden parts together. Some welding is required. The plans for the Pietenpol Aircamper were originally published in a four part serial in the "Flying and Glider" Manual of 1932-33.  The original model was flown using an Ace four cylinder water-cooled engine. The Model A Ford engine later became the standard powerplant used.

General characteristics

  • Crew: One pilot
  • Capacity: One passenger
  • Length: 17 ft 8 in (5.39 m)
  • Wingspan: 29 ft 0 in (8.84 m)
  • Height: 6 ft 6 in (1.98 m)
  • Wing area: 135 ft² (12.5 m²)
  • Empty weight: 610 lb (277 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 995 lb (452 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1080 lb (490 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1× Ford Model A engine (adapted for aero use), ()


  • Maximum speed: 86 knots (100 mph, 160 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 30 knots (35 mph, 56 km/h)
  • Rate of climb: 500 ft/min (152 m/min)
  • Wing loading: 7 lb/ft² (36 kg/m²)



A Sister ship Model A Pietenpol Air Camper 1929 Configuration

1943 CESSNA UC-78B / T-50  "BOBCAT" or "BAMBOO BOMBER"   
N41793           43-31917         SN 5855


AUGUST 31, 2007


    JACK KOSKO    



Just as is the case with these project aircraft, this page is continuously under construction.  Stop back occasionally and check on our progress. 

If you would like to help with these and other restorations of historic aircraft, please consider becoming a Member of the Mid-Atlantic Air Museum.

We need sponsors and donations to complete our projects and to begin others.  If you would like to help financially, or have an aircraft, parts, or other aviation artifacts you wish to donate, we would be most grateful.  Check out our Donations and Sponsorship page for all the details.