Cunningham-Hall GA-21M and GA-36

Tomac

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Okay here's another aircraft photo from 1936. The original is about the size of a postage stamp - that's why this is so grainy - and came from an advertisement for aircraft photos at 10¢ each in a 1936 copy of Air Trails magazine. I couldn't figure out where I saw it before until I remembered an aircraft that was in the Ira Ross Aviation Museum in Niagara Falls, NY, the Cunningham-Hall GA-36. The thing is the copy they have was supposedly the sole copy made and is presented in all-over silver. The photo shows wings markings (Stars) and, I believe, a two-tone paint job. It also has a somewhat different cowling.
So my question is this, am I correct in my assumption or is this aircraft something different?
I've attached the photo and a 3-view of the GA-36 from a 1936 copy of Aero Digest magazine.
Thanks for your help.
John Braungart
 

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Stargazer2006

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Tomac said:
Okay the photo didn't come through, here it is.
Oh, I see. No, it's not the same aircraft. The one in the photo is a Kinner Envoy, which was used by the U.S. Navy as the RK-1.
 

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Stargazer2006

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Pics of the sole Cunningham GA-36, to stick to the topic. Interestingly the aircraft has been preserved and is now displayed at the Niagara Aerospace Museum.
 

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Tomac

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Stargazer2006 said:
Tomac said:
Okay the photo didn't come through, here it is.
Oh, I see. No, it's not the same aircraft. The one in the photo is a Kinner Envoy, which was used by the U.S. Navy as the RK-1.
You mean this one, I should have looked deeper, thanks.
Regards,
John Braungart
 

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Stargazer2006

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Judging from this photo, it seems that the GA-36 was in a pretty derelict state before it was restored to public display status...
 

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ACResearcher

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What was the purpose of this aircraft? Was it for a civil market or a military use? The design is reminiscent of the Curtiss A-10/12 and the Northrop A-13/16 attack aircraft.

AlanG
 

Tomac

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According to a paper model that I have of it (will download copies if anyone wants them - contat me via e-mail at braungart (at) verizon (dot) net) it was to be used as an advanced trainer. It seems to be similar in size to a P-26.
Regards,
John Braungart
 

ACResearcher

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The small 3-view differs substantially from the actual aircraft in a number of particulars.

1. No exhaust housing under the cowl
2. Tail shape is quite different - not nearly as round as on the actual aircraft
3. Wheel spats differ in both shape and size.
4. No exhaust outlet on the lower rear cowl.
5. Rear plexiglass is curved vs the real aircraft's straight angled line.

I wonder if the small 3-view was the original configuration or the magazine version??

Any info?

AlanG
 

Stargazer2006

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Don't forget that the second three-view in this topic shows the Kinner Envoy, NOT the GA-36.

Also remember that the sole GA-36 started life as the GA-21M (see attachments), which had several differences.
 

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ACResearcher

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Fear not. I didn't forget, and my comparison is between the drawing from Aero Digest that begins this thread vs the various photos of the GA-36.

Thus my question remains. Original concept drawing? Artistic imagination?

AlanG
 

Stargazer2006

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The Cunningham-Hall GA-36 story from Vintage Airplane Vol. 8, No. 7:

In the mid-thirties the Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation of Rochester, New York designed and built a good looking low-wing aircraft which proved to be far ahead of its time. Designed by Randolph F. Hall it was to have both high and low speed capability.

The GA-36 built in 1935 was the outgrowth of previous designs. It was powered by a Warner Super Scarab engine and had full span flaps plus other high lift devices on the wing.

It was flown by several pilots who all spoke well of the craft. The GA-36 was fully aerobatic and had excellent slow speed flight ability. Apparently it was overbuilt and overweight, however, and did not fare well when its climb and top speed was compared with the performance of other 2 place planes of the day. It could have made good use of a controllable pitch propeller but one was never fitted.

The project was not continued and when the Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation failed to bid successfully on government plane contracts, they manufactured aircraft parts and gun mounts during WW II.

In the meantime, the GA-36 sat in a hangar at the Rochester, New York Airport until 1941 when the Meyers Aircraft Company in Tecumseh, Michigan purchased the plane for its engine.

Among the pilots who were flying at the Rochester Airport at the time was a you ng man named Robert E. Kesel. Bob greatly admired the GA-36 and he and his friends considered it to be the "absolute epitome of a sport plane".

Bob is now an active member of Antique/Classic Chapter 6 of Rochester and through the years had never forgotten the plane. On June 28, 1978, quite by chance, Bob and some of his friends learned that the GA-36 still existed and was located at the Tecumseh, Michigan Airport where AI Meyers, of Meyers Aircraft, had removed the engine some 37 years previously.

The aircraft was obtained along with a complete set of factory drawings and now is the restoration project of Antique/Classic Chapter 6. This group is actively making the airplane airworthy and they are in need of donations. A major item needed is the Warner engine, either 145 or 165 hp. They have located two for sale, but the prices are beyond the group's means.

For donation purposes the group has formed a non-profit corporation called the GA-36 Association, Inc. The purpose of the restoration is "to insure that Rochester regains its proper place in the history of aviation during the days when real pioneering work was being done".

Bob Kesel and other Chapter 6 members will be promoting their project at Oshkosh '80 by manning booth number J-7 in the North Exhibit Building. They will display photos of the original plane as well as the current restoration. They will also have scale models of the GA-36 on display, and kits for sale for building 1/24 scale paper models of this beautiful aircraft.

For those interested in more details of the GA-36, the Summer, 1971 Journal of the American Aviation Historical Society contains a story of the Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation by Randolph F. Hall, who was vice president and chief engineer of the company.
 

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Apophenia

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Does anyone have details of the Cunningham-Hall Aircraft Corporation's unbuilt projects?

There were two unbuilt projects related to the PT-6/PT-6F high-winged transport. One was a 4-seat 'Personal Transport' version of the PT-6 (which I assume means 1 pilot + 3 passengers).

The second was a bomber adaptation of the PT-6F freighter. This aircraft was to be fitted with bomb racks, of course, and defensive machine guns - one mounted in a roof-top turret. http://www.hoaircraft.com/AirClassicsCHpdf.pdf

Smithsonian NASM has a 'Cunningham-Hall Collection, 1917-1940 (bulk 1928-1930)'. Listed in its contents are the Cunningham-Hall GA-50 and GA-60 (with no details given) and an undesignated projects - the 'Experimental Observation and Training Airplane'.

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=siris_arc_227722

BTW, Cunningham-Hall also design its own wing profiles. The GA-36 had that Cunningham-Hall Wing profile. NACA's Fairchild 22 (No.60) was also fitted with the Cunningham Hall wing for Sept 1935 windtunnel trials - Test #55 at NACA Facility 643.

http://crgis.ndc.nasa.gov/historic/643_Test_55_-_F-22_%E2%80%93_NACA_no._60_with_Cunningham-Hall_Wing
 

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Stargazer2006

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Very interesting new leads, Apophenia. Wish I could be in the U. S. and visit all these archives in my free time!

Meanwhile, the Sarah Clark Collection index also mentions a "GA-31", which I previously assumed to be a likely typo for either GA-21 or GA-36... but you never know, it could also be any of the unidentified projects you mentioned.
 

Stargazer2006

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Best account of the Cunningham-Hall story I've seen so far was in the AAHS Journal.
I'm attaching small size versions of the pages for information purposes.
(unfortunately, no mention of the elusive unknown projects)
 

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Apophenia

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Great stuff, thanks! Nice to see a photo of the NACA Fairchild 22 outside of the wind tunnel :D

On that 'GA-31', I wonder if Cunningham-Hall might have applied designations to their wing profiles and individual wing designs.
 

hesham

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My dear Apophenia,

GA-31 ?,I think you meant GA-21,right ?.
 

Apophenia

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Hesham: My 'GA-31' reference was to Skyblazer's Reply $14:

Skyblazer said:
... Meanwhile, the Sarah Clark Collection index also mentions a "GA-31", which I previously assumed to be a likely typo for either GA-21 or GA-36... but you never know, it could also be any of the unidentified projects you mentioned.
If that 'GA-31' is real, a further speculation as to its identity might be the otherwise-undesignated 'Experimental Observation and Training Airplane' mentioned in the Smithsonian NASM 'Cunningham-Hall Collection, 1917-1940 (bulk 1928-1930)'.

http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?object=siris_arc_227722

BTW: Those Sept 1935 NACA Facility 643 Test #55 Cunningham-Hall wing test were on behalf of the US Navy. The 'Experimental Observation and Training Airplane' is obviously a design for a military aircraft but the description is to vague to distinguish between a Army Air Corps or US Navy requirement.
 

hesham

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Many thanks to you my dear Apophenia,

there was also GA-50,GA-60 and PT-4 ?.
 
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