Quick Facts

Pietenpol Air Camper

Kit Plane

Part of the Air Zoo Collection

Located in the Flight Discovery Center

Designer Bernard Pietenpol (1901-1984) was intrigued by the possibilities of manufacturing low cost and durable aircraft kits. The 'common man' could build the kit with a few tools and his own hands. Designed in 1929, it was all-wood construction, and offered the flexibility of using several different engines. Among the engines used were the Model A Ford, Chevy Corvair, A-65, and Continental. It had a short and slow takeoff run.  With a top speed of 100 mph, the Air Camper was a versatile flying machine. The Pietenpol kit was the first to use split-axel landing gear, which kept costs within reach of anyone wanting to build one. 

The Air Zoo’s  Pietenpol

Working from manufacturer’s blueprints dated 1939, Air Zoo docent Bob Humbert began constructing the Air Camper in 1969 out of Sitka Spruce. The airplane was donated to the museum in 2011 and is on display at the Flight Discovery Center.