Bernard H. Pietenpol
For a brief history of the Pietenpol Air Camper click
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
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.