Aircraft designer

Bernard H. Pietenpol

(Pronounced Pete-n-pole)

For a brief history of the Pietenpol Air Camper click here.

Historic Pietenpol photos from the Pietenpol Family website

1901 - 1984

Born in Spring Valley (airfield in Cherry Grove), Minnesota, Mr Pietenpol was considered Minnesota's premiere aircraft homebuilder. He learned to fly in the 1920's constructing his first homebuilt airplane in 1923 with a Ford Model T engine (Sky Scout). In April of 1929, he brought a Model A engined two-seat airplane (Air Camper) to Minneapolis, Minnesota to show the editor of Modern Mechanics magazine that an auto engined airplane could indeed fly. The plane's plans were published in the magazine and it became a favorite homebuilt airplane, which continues to this day. Mr. Pietenpol is considered the "Father Of Homebuilt Aircraft". Bernard was a self-taught engineer, who designed his own airfoils and made his own stress analysis. He taught in the CPT before World War II. He returned to the aircraft business and continued building airplanes, selling plans, experimenting with Corvair powered flight, and helping other
homebuilders with their projects. His original hangar and one of his last built planes is now on display on EAA grounds at Oshkosh, Wisconsin. His grandson Andrew Pietenpol fly's Mr. Pietenpol's last built Corvair powered plane, and continues building Air Campers and selling plans with Mr. Pietenpol's son Donald Pietenpol.

Heaven on Wings

As the throttle moves forward,
My future becomes clear,
I know that my troubles,
Will soon disappear.

The aircraft speeds me away,
From this troubled earth,
I knew this day would come,
Since the day of my birth.

Peace I have found,
My life balanced on wings,
My problems disappear,
Among other things.

Paradise is what I see,
In the crisp, cool air,
Lost in my thoughts,
And not even a care.

As I turn on to final,
I know I must go,
Return to the evil,
To the world that I know.

Problems I will see,
‘till the day that I die,
Then I will return to my heaven,
To my place in the sky.



Single Seat Sky Scout

Ford Model A installations.


Last updated - 11th February 2018


I hope to create a pictorial log of my journey to build and fly a Chevrolet Corvair powered Pietenpol Air Camper Aircraft.


My Piet as at 9th November 2017.



Gary Boothe in the USA built this Corvair aero conversion and this is its first run!

Video Links to Gary's first engine runs at Corvair College #18

First run.

Second run.

Member of

The UK Pietenpol Club

Email me here

Weather in Tamworth

A little slice of Australian Aviation history right here in Tamworth! Pietenpol Sky Scout with a Salmson Radial engine.


Latest News...

We have formed a support group for Aussies building Pietenpols!

Shirts, T-Shirts and stickers now available! and find us on Facebook at "Australian Pietenpol Builders"

Check out TAVAS

Mike Cuy gives an insight into his Air Camper

Latest Corvair Aero-conversion parts at Oshkosh 2012.

30th March 2014 and she stands on here own 3 feet for the first time!

Centre section assembled and wing spar to lift strut brackets made and fitting with phenolic bushes...

Fitting wing attachment plates...

Cardboard mockup of cooling eyebrows...

Mounting engine...

Corvair engine final assembly...

Right side of Fuselage sheeted...

Battery box and master solenoid...

Connecting rods between rudderbar and front pedals fabricated and fitted...

Left side of Fuselage sheeted...

Wiring of instruments has begun...

Me having a sit trying the controls out...

Side parcel trays...

Stainless firewall secured to ply...

Seat mountings finished...

Elevator control cable support bracket and pulleys...

Aileron horn bent and welded...

Elevator horns bent, welded and fitted...

Front rudder pedals mounted...

Elevator bell crank arm painted and fitted...

Rudder horn bent and welded...

Front rudder pedal mounting brackets made and assembled...