him the confidence to start the job, and he also tapped
the resources of his EAA chapter for guidance and help.
Steve said chapter member Scott Rower deserves a lot of
credit for the Aces because of his engineering talent and
Building the Baby Ace was not just a time to learn new
skills for Steve. “I was also aware of the Baby Ace and its
connection to the beginnings of EAA; this seemed like a
bonus to me,” he said. “As it turned out, it also gave me
the opportunity to meet and get to know Paul Poberezny,
the founder of EAA. What a great guy he turned out to be.
He even called me a few times just to talk about the Baby
Ace and other planes.”
to stay as true
as he could to
Model D Baby
Ace, Poberezny’s variation of the
Baby Ace has
an A- 65 Continental engine, Cub wheels and brakes, Cub
engine mount and cowling, and cut-down Cub lift struts.
Steve did modify the tail feathers a bit because he wanted
a more rounded look.
It seems that scratchbuilders also love to pinch pennies, and Steve fits that mold. “I tried to control costs
as much as possible without sacrificing safety,” he said.
He covered the plane with Ceconite fabric and filled the
material with latex house paint. The final paint was a
generic catalyzed urethane enamel that cost only about
$50 per gallon. The finished product has the wet look
of Aerothane at a fraction of the cost. The project was
started in the fall of 2000 with the first flight on September 5, 2005. “It flew great, with only minor trim changes
needed,” Steve said. He now has 150 trouble-free hours on
his Baby Ace. His longest cross-country flight has been to
the Sport Aviation Association Fly-in at Urbana, Illinois,
in June 2006.
As is usual in any EAA chapter, members wandered in and
out of Steve’s shop while his Baby Ace was taking shape. Jim
Eck was one of these guys. He liked what he saw and became
another link in the Chapter 1046 Baby Ace chain.
“I was also aware of the Baby
Ace and its connection to the
beginnings of EAA; this seemed
like a bonus to me,...”
The instrument panel in Steve McGuire’s Ace holds a bit of his
aviation past. Steve first took an airplane ride at age five from his
uncle, Bud McKinney, in a 1946 Aeronca champ. The altimeter
in Steve’s Ace is the same altimeter that was installed in Uncle
Bud’s Champ when Steve took his first airplane ride.
Steve ran the engine oil breather tube all the way to the tail to
keep his Ace clean.
Photos by Earl C. Downs
The Baby Ace plans do not account for pitch
trim. Steve added a separate trim airfoil at
the tail that is cockpit-controlled.