Wyoming rancher Reuel T. Call and his brothers Ivan and Spencer developed their Call-Air series of light fixed gear wood, steel tube and fabric low-wing strut braced monoplanes for high altitude operations from rough fields. The Model A was ready for production in 1940, but due to the war in Europe, production had to wait until after November 1944 when prohibitions against manufacture of civilian aircraft were lifted. The Call-Air A series was manufactured under Approved Type Certificate #758 dated 26 July 1944. The Model A-2 appeared with 12 hp Lycoming O-290 in 1946.
Manufacturing took place at Afton, Wyoming. Total production was between 35 and 40, with model changes based on more powerful engines. Rights to the Call-Air were purchased by Intermountain Manufacturing Company in 1962, who developed a series of agricultural aircraft. Aero Commander and later Rockwell continued ag models, with manufacture moving to Mexico in 1971.
Juptner (Vol. 8) notes that the Call-Air was “inherently stable and easy to fly … and sure footed as a mountain goat.” Its maximum speed was about 120 mph with a fuel burn of under seven gallons per hour. I photographed NC34841 at Oshkosh in 2009. At the time it was owned by Per Anderas of Green Bay. Built in July 1945, it had been stored from 1957 to 1998 and had undergone a six-year restoration.
This month’s winner Glenn Kinneberg of Spring Grove remembered that “in 1953 when I was stationed at Ellsworth AFB, a fellow airman kept one at the municipal airport. He would fly home weekends.” Bill Ingvoldstad recognized the bucking bronco on the fin, Burt Ackerman knew someone who flew one, Gary Underland had flown one, Ed Newberg helped restore one, Bill Koelling knew Afton, WY and Joe Connell sent a picture of N2907V, which I’ve also photographed! Thanks to everyone who stopped at the announcer’s stand at Air Expo and the Big Bomber Weekend. Love that hangar flying. Blue skies and tail winds.