Curtiss Robin Page

Welcome to the 
Curtiss Robin Page 
on Barnstmr's Random Aeronautics!

Here you will find all sorts of information related to the venerable Curtiss Robin airplanes manufactured from 1928 through 1930 by the Curtiss Robertson Aircraft Company located in Saint Louis Missouri.  It is wonderful to see so many Robins out flying and active these days.

First off - you can click here to view all Curtiss Robin Related posts on this weblog. 

Secondly - Check out our FACEBOOK PAGE with tons of Curtiss Robin photos and links.

Thirdly - Click on this button to view excellent Curtiss Robins photographed around the world:
Flickriver: Searching for photos matching 'Curtiss Robin'

Robins in Air Racing
Vera Dawn Walker raced NC326K in the 1929 Women's Air Derby
The photo at left and its story can be found at Vintage Air

This month, I have been so busy it has been hard to work on the webpage.  However the daily internet publication known as "Historic Wings" recently featured Curtiss Robin J-1, NR526N.  We decided to add the links to their wonderful 2-part article on our site.  Certainly the "Ole Miss" Robin deserves a spot of recognition on our site.  I hope you enjoy.

FEATURE ROBIN - January 2013
This month, I am adding some more historical information on my dad's Curtiss Robin C-1, NR82H.  It seems like we learn a little more about the unique history of this bird with every passing year.  Known as the "Texas Lady", this Robin was dad's pride and joy.

FEATURE ROBIN - September 2012
Too many months have passed since we had a Feature Robin posting, but we think this one was well worth the wait.  Here's our September 2012 feature on Kermit Weeks' 1927 Curtiss Robin B NC8313 restored by Henry Haigh.
Click here for more on Kermit's Robin B

This month I'm posting a few photos from Richard Epton of his Curtiss Robin J-1, NC781M. 
Click here for more on Richard's Robin

This month I'm posting a few photos from Dick Fischer of his Curtiss Robin J-1, NC517N.  
Click here for more on Dick's Robin.

This month we are sharing some wonderful photos of the detail work being accomplished by noted restorer and engine man, Alan Holloway, founder of Holloway Engineering. 

This page is being created to carry-on in the tradition of sharing Curtiss Robin information as started years ago by Mr. Jim Haynes.  From 1984 to 2006, Jim published a newsletter called "The Robin's Nest" and "The Robin Flyleaf".  In those publication, Jim spread his wealth of knowledge and shared his correspondence with Robin owners from around the world. In the beginning, the format of his publications were a random mix of newspaper clippings, photocopies of letters, and his own type-written text. Over time, Jim evolved these works to include color photo inserts and he always tried to improve the quality, although it was mostly funded out of his own pocket.  Jim's father owned a Robin and Jim is also the owner of a Robin C-1 of his own (312) and paperwork for another Robin B (c/n 232).  In 2008 after 21+ years of doing these newsletters, Jim wrote me and passed the torch (so-to-speak).  Admittedly, I had no clue what a job it would be to keep up with all the Robins as they have changed hands and moved around the country and the world.  And in addition, I found out that it is a lot of work to put together mass mailings and keep up with addresses, postage, and all the details for such a publication.  Jim certainly was better at it than me, and he did not always have the conveniences we do today (like the internet).  But I have enjoyed trying to fill his shoes.  

So far, I have managed to publish two somewhat "formal" newsletters, called "The Curtiss Robin Flyer".  The first was published in the 3rd Quarter of 2008.  The second was published in the 2nd Quarter of 2010.  I do intend to keep them going, but I find that I don't get to spend as much time as needed to keep up with regular issues.  So, I have decided that this page can offer a bit of convenience for me to keep the information flowing and also is perhaps a more "available" mode of communication for today's technology-immersed world.  I hope that the current audience of Curtiss Robin enthusiasts will appreciate this medium and will be adaptable to it.

Also see... 
All Curtiss Robin Related Posts
This link will take you to all postings ever added to this weblog as related to Curtiss Robins.

DAN Linn's Curtiss Robin Feature Page
Dan has assembled a really nice feature page on his web-log called "Another Time". Dan has long been a Curtiss Robin enthusiast and is also partner with Kelly Mahon, working to restore Curtiss Robin c/n 483.  We look forward to hearing more on the progress of this project and perhaps soon including it as a "Feature Robin" on our page.


Recent Sales and Acquisitions:

CURTISS ROBIN – 1929, S/N 270, NC8397, SOLD
Karl Bergey of Norman OK reports that Fred Dexter bought his Robin project.  Fred also owns a Robin C-2 that he flies in New Hampshire.  We look forward to learning more about his plans for NC8397.
We heard Confirmed (8/8/11) that David Baumbach of Alamo, CA recently acquired a "Challenger" Robin C-1 (c/n 550, reg. NC389K) from the Western Aerospace Museum to add to his airplane collection, which already includes a "OX-5" Robin B, c/n 76.

David recently wrote to say
Terry:  I wanted to let you know that I am the new owner of Curtiss robin C-1 N389K.  I will be removing it from the Oakland aircraft Museum this Saturday 9/25.  I will take photos of the move and email them to you.

Terry:  Just though I would send phos of disassembling our new robin at 
the Oakland museum. We had lots of help. It took us about 2 hours to 
disassemble the robin. Best Regards,David Baumbach 


Another Robin has changed hands. This one, a model 4C is currently in the UK, registration G-BTYY (formerly NC348K).  Previous owner was Mr. Robin Windus.  Here is some correspondence I've been having with Gregory Scott who has been assisting to get this airplane airworthy in preparation for its new owner, named Russel ___?__.

Hello Mr. Bowden,
    Forgive me the long delay in responding to your very informative email.  I have been busy with 3 aircraft over the last few weeks...  on top of bringing the Curtiss Robin back to life!
    I have managed to strip, clean and paint the Hayes brakes. I then found that the master cylinders on the rudder pedals were dry and seized.  I removed these with some difficulty checked the seals and managed to get them filled with fluid and working so we now have active brakes again!!
    I have inspected the engine cylinders with an end-o-scope and they look in good condition.  The engine has been pulled through from time to time and has maintained some condition.  The battery is missing but a new one has been ordered so in the meantime I tried to turn the engine on the starter in with an auto emergency start pack in readiness for a proper engine start for the new owner.  Unfortunately although the starter would spin it would not engage.  I removed the starter and stripped out the starter dog clutch mechanism gave it a clean up and oil and now it turns the motor.  I had previously removed the oil tank and flushed it out, cleaned the old paint off re primed and painted it, now everything else looks less good beside it!  In the coming week we hope to flush out the fuel tanks and fuel lines. It is intended to half fill the engine oil and wind the motor over on the starter to flush out any of the old oil remaining in the pump etc. then drain and fill again for engine run.  There is quite a bit of cosmetic work to do as yet but I will have to defer to someone else to carry on with that. I would like to suggest to the new owner that he get the Curtiss restored fully by a professional.  I only know the new owner's first name is Russel, but I will get all details for you.  I think he is able to afford the cost, he seems to be a lover of vintage machines.  He arrived in a 1920 Rolls Royce Open Tourer a couple of times and in a state of the art Mercedes 2 Seater Sports the last time with his mother on board. (Very nice old lady too) She was chatting to me and telling me of other cars he owns.  It is gratify to see the Curtiss going to someone who can appreciate her and look after her.  Although it has come at a difficult time for me I have enjoyed the experience of working on her although it has got to be signed off by an authorised engineer yet!  Thank you again for your interest in our U.K. example of the Curtiss Robin, we appreciate the help you have given.  Watch this space for future news.
Best regards,
Greg Scott 8/2/2010

Hello Terry,
     I have been superseded by a "professional", that is, a licensed engineer (much to my relief) who has been working on it intermittently.  He has removed the cylinders and sent them to a shop for overhaul waiting for their return at present.  He has given the bottom end a thorough inspection and reports all is well there.  The wing spars have been deemed O.K. but a bit of rodent damage to some stitching that will have to be renewed, the fabric basically sound.  I understand they intend to remove the wings and transport them to a fabric specialist shop for the stitching. He has not tackled the Wing fuel tanks yet so has not encountered the leaks around those "Ford" fuel indicators.  I gave him the special tools I ordered from the USA so he is equipped for that.   He believes there is evidence of rust in the wing tanks? are they normally steel??? where-as the mid wing Auxiliary appears O.K. 
    The plan is to get her on a LAA Permit (our EAA) which will give more freedom such as fitting an Andair Selector in place of the cork lined original.  I think it will be quite a while yet before we see her flying out of the strip here, but we live in hope.
    I have passed your contact details to the engineer, Matt Bryant, so am surprised he has not made contact.  I will encourage him again when next I see him.

The rest of this page is under construction.  Check back soon for more Curtiss Robin information as we expand it.

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