Mystery Airplane: March 2014
1946 Dart GC
"No other light airplane combines all the features that aviation-minded enthusiasts demand," reads a 1947 advertisement for the Applegate & Weyant version of Al Mooney's classic Dart. Powered by a 100 hp Continental flat six, the Dart GC (C for Continental) was a worthy successor to the earlier Dart G (90 hp Lambert), Dart GK (90 hp Ken Royce), or Dart GW (90 hp Warner Scarab Junior) radial engined models produced by Lambert, Culver and Dart.
Ten Dart GC's, licensed under Approved Type Certificate #674 of 19 April 1938, were produced in a Tecumseh, Michigan, factory shared with Meyers Aircraft Company (remember the OTW biplane?) beginning in 1946. Described by Joe Jupiter (Volume 7) as "a rather sensitive machine that responded quickly to the flex of a pilot's finger," the GC was advertised as unrestricted for aerobatics. With a maximum speed of 140 mph and a ceiling of 16,500 feet, the little GC, with its 29 foot 7 inch elliptical wing, was an excellent performer. Unfortunately, with the post WWII glut of light aircraft on the market, it failed to sell.
I photographed N4HM at Oshkosh in 2004. It is currently registered to Charles R. Miller of Montgomery, TX, and has been displayed at the Frontiers of Flight Museum since 2005. This month's winner is Elvin Thiessen of Butterfield, who flies a homebuilt Cuby. Also correct were Bill Kyle, Joe Connell, Burt Lade, and Funk pilot Bill Ingvoldstad called it a "very pretty airplane."
Kudos to Roger Hansen, Education Coordinator for the Blaine Airport Promotion Group, for his work with metro schools' STEM programs. I've been privileged to teach aviation history, basic aeronautical theory and aircraft structure at Golden Wings as a part of this outreach project. Making connections with young people is a key way to insure aviation's future.
Think spring. Blue skies and tail winds!