A little history about Air Camper plans...

There are two different sets of Pietenpol Air Camper plans.  Both sets were drawn up in Cherry Grove, MN, by Orrin Hoopman (Bernard Pietenpol never made any drawings).  Hoopman's earliest plans were published in 1932, in four monthly issues of Modern Mechanics and Inventions magazine, along with accompanying construction write-ups by Bernard Pietenpol.  The publisher, Fawcett Publications, also reprinted the plans and Bernard Pietenpol's construction write-ups in their year-end 1932 Flying and Glider Manual.  A reprint of that Manual is available today from EAA in Oshkosh for about $7.  For several years, Fawcett also sold "shop size plans" (blueprints) for the Air Camper at a price of $7.50.

In 1933, Bernard and Orrin decided to make and sell their own plans for what they termed “The Improved Air Camper.” Orrin completed the new drawings in 1934 and Bernard and Orrin sold thousands of copies of these plans (blueprints). Orrin never did copyright the plans that he drew. Later, these Hoopman plans were converted from blueprints to black on white. These black on white 1934 “Improved Air Camper” plans are the plans of choice today. However, you will still want the EAA reprint copy of the 1932 Flight and Glider Manual which contains Bernard’s construction write-ups.

In 1972, with a nudge from Bernard, Vi Kapler, who was the A&E mechanic at Bernard’s shop and flying field, drew up a new sheet depicting an Air Camper wing center section. This replaced the original 29 foot one-piece wing with a three-piece wing that has been widely adapted today. The three piece wing allows much easier removal and reinstallation of the outer wing panels. Vi originally sold copies of his 3-piece wing plan from his home in Rochester, MN. In later years (“not wanting to be in the mail-order business”), he asked his friend Don Pietenpol to sell his single sheet plan.

The “improved Air Camper” plans were sold to the public by Bernard Pietenpol and Orrin Hoopman from Cherry Grove, MN for many years. Later, when Orrin moved to Austin, MN, he continued to sell plans from Austin, with Bernard selling plans from Cherry Grove. When Bernard died in January of 1984, his son Don continued to sell plans from his home in Rochester, MN. Orrin meanwhile continued to sell plans from his home in Austin until his death in 2001. Orrin sold the 1932 Modern Mechanics plans, the 1934 “Improved Air Camper” plans, and the 1933 Sky Scout plans as published in Modern Mechanics magazine, which were not drawn by Orrin, but by a MM staff draftsman. When Orrin died in 2001, Don Pietenpol became the primary source and sold plans from Rochester until his death in 2014. Don was a fabulous source of inspiration for many builders over the years.

In 2015, I decided that I should step up to sell the plans, along with a menu of updates, to the Air Camper community. With modern reproduction equipment and a vast library from which to assemble the updates, this information can be provided at a practical cost. 

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Email:   thepietshop@gmail.com

Doc's Piet Shop, P.O. Box 1001, Neenah WI  54957

www.docspietshop.com