Classic Aircraft Showcase: Part 1


We asked to see your classic aircraft and you didn’t disappoint! In fact, we received so many photos of magnificent classic airplanes that this is just the first of a three-part showcase. Check back next Friday for Part 2.

1946 Cessna 120

My 1946 Cessna 120 was first flown by Mort Brown, Cessna production test pilot, over the city of Wichita on October 22, 1946. It is powered by a Continental C90 engine and has minimal instruments and avionics. Among its past several owners are the Flying Farmers of America and The Benedictine Fathers of Nebraska. I have owned it since August 2006. In July 2007, I flew it from Newton, Kansas to Reedley, California and back in radio silence in honor of how the flight might have been made in 1946. We crossed the Rockies at 10,200 feet through a pass just west of Las Vegas, New Mexico. Wheels move the body, wings move the soul. These are my retirement wings. – John Kliewer

1948 Luscombe 8E

Here’s is my 1948 Luscombe 8E (McKenzie Lycoming conversion). It had an accident back in 2006 in Wisconsin. The rebuild was stared then given up. I purchased it in 2010 and it first flew again in 2018. Lots of mods during the rebuild including shoulder harnesses, hydraulic brakes, BAS tail pull handle, Steve’s Aircraft gascolator, lightweight alternator and starter, LED lights, ADSB, etc… – Dan Lepkowski

1948 Funk B-85C

Photo: 1948 Funk B-85C – John

My 1948 Funk B-85C is the last regular production Funk made and was owned by the Funk brothers until my father bought it in 1958. It’s been the family flyer ever since, teaching me how to fly, maintain, and care for everything else I’ve crossed paths with. – John

Beechcraft T-34 Mentor

Photo: T-34 – Tim Gause

This Beautiful T-34 was previously owned by General Chuck Boyd, USAF (Ret). General Boyd was shot down over Vietnam in 1966. Almost 7 years in captivity, he was the only former POW to obtain the rank of Four Star General. He did an interview with AOPA about 5 years ago, and mentioned that he would continue to fly until his health dictated otherwise. After 60 years of flying, he hung up his flying spurs late last year. I was the lucky one who will be the next caretaker of this wonderful airplane. It’s a Beechcraft A-45, better known as a T-34A Mentor.  It has been modified with an IO-520 engine producing 285 hp and is fully aerobatic with a beautiful paint scheme and a smoke system installed. – Tim Gause

1964 PA-24-400 Piper Comanche

I recently took ownership of this 1964 PA-24-400 Piper Comanche and flew it from South Carolina to California. A previous owner, Judd Brodie, made a transatlantic flight to England at least once. Since then, it has been in the good hands of former Air Force C-130 pilot Greg Grimaud until I purchased it this year. My first project with the new plane will be to update the panel in preparation for some long cross-country flights. – Joel Rothschild

1965 Champion Citabria 7ECA

Photo: 1965 Champion Citabria 7ECA – Matt Moore

I learned to fly in a 1946 Aeronca Champ 7AC which I continued to rent on many low and slow cross countries across South Carolina. When I was finally able to purchase my first airplane in 2018, I ran across N9539S – a 1965 Champion Citabria 7ECA (#305) and never looked back! 

Aeronca became Champion Aircraft Company in 1951 and eventually built the first aerobatic capable, Champ-based design in 1964. It was called the ‘Citabria’, which, of course, is ‘Airbatic’ spelled backwards. 

#305 is one of the early Citabrias with the 100hp Continental O-200 engine. Champion quickly learned that a minimum 115hp configuration was a better choice, so there weren’t many Citabria’s produced with the O-200. #305 still has that original 100hp Continental, making for lots of exciting short field takeoffs on hot summer days in South Carolina. That said, once at altitude, basic aerobatics is all about energy management and this old girl is a dream to loop, spin and roll!

You can check out more N9539S Citabria fun at YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook by searching Airbatic Adventures! – Matt Moore


Recognized first of the type, N133RM is the first home-built KR-2S from the Rand Robinson design collaboration. Awarded its Experimental airworthiness certificate in 1994, it became the poster child for the legion of stretched two-seat airplanes to follow. Built by Roy Marsh in Santa Maria, CA, it flew over 500 hours under his hand in the first three years. Powered by a Revmaster 2100 turbo charged engine, it set a record 190mph at Sun ‘N Fun 100 the very first year. An extensive history of the airplane, including its 2 trips across the Pacific is found at – John Bouyea


  1. A Cessna 120? There was a Cessna 140 for rent a while back at one of the FBO I was looking at to get my tail wheel endorsement. I thought it to be too small, cramped, and slow. I can only imagine what the 120 was inside. Needless to say other pilots thought the same thing of the 140. It got sold rather quickly due to lack of use.