The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa


August 30, 2013

A different view: Barnstormers show Clinton from above


The New Standard is unlike the other two biplanes that were present Thursday because it is designed to give pleasure rides.

The WACO Taperwing and the Travel Air 4000 are both equipped with two passenger seats located in front of the pilot’s seat, but the New Standard holds four passengers.

“These were built for rides,” Davis said. “Back in the 20s and 30s they were a big deal because a lot of people experienced their first airplane ride in one of these.”

The New Standard is larger than the other two planes but is powered by the same size engine, which is surprisingly easy to maintain, according to Brownell.

“These engines were mass produced around World War II so now it is easier to take care of them because it’s not that difficult to find parts,” Brownell said.

Although the biplanes have many similarities, each one offers a different experience and a different captain to go along with it.

One of those captains, Adams, is the heart, soul and foundation of the American Barnstormers.

A commercial pilot with Delta Airlines, Adams has flown 128 different types of airplanes in his 41-year career and says that his 1929 Travel Air 4000 is his favorite to fly.

Because of his love for the open cockpit biplane, he started the American Barnstormers tour in 2006.

“It all started under the wings of this airplane,” Adams said.

His inspiration for the tour came from the old flying circus of the 1930s and his continued passion stems from his love of flying and of his aircraft.

“We’re just caretakers of these planes. Once we sell them someone else becomes the caretaker and it continues,” Adams said. “The worst thing we could see happen is to have these in museums. They are meant to fly, so we need to keep them flying.”



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