Story Little Gee Bee

George Bogardus flew the Little Gee Bee from Oregon to Washington, D. C., in 1947, 1949, and 1951. These three flights helped to convince officials in the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board that amateurs could design and build light aircraft that were safe, reliable, and capable of practical cross-country flights. The CAA enacted legislation in 1952 that for the first time sanctioned the registration and operation of amateur-built aircraft. Later that year, Paul Poberezny founded the Experimental Aircraft Association, which has grown into a worldwide organization with more than 170,000 members.

Little Gee Bee was built before World War II. With financial support from Lee Eyerly of Salem, Oregon, Tom Story of Portland designed and built an aircraft in 1938 patterned on Leslie Long's Low Wing Longster. Story's airplane took the nickname Wimpy but when George Bogardus acquired it after the war, he renamed it Little Gee Bee.

Gift of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Portland Chapter 105

Manufacturer
Tom Story

Date
1947

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 9 m (29 ft 8 in)
Length: 5.7 m (19 ft)
Height: 1.5 m (5 ft)
Weight: Empty, 218 kg (485 lb)
Gross, 334 kg (743 lb)
Engine: Continental A-40, 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, air-cooled,
65 horsepower
Cruising Speed: 172 km/h (107 mph)
Maximum Speed: 195 km/h (121 mph)

George Bogardus had many interests. Among numerous hobbies, he dabbled in printing presses, amateur radio, and trap shooting, but his interest in amateur aircraft led him to make history. Between 1927 and World War II, amateurs who wanted to design and build their own aircraft could do so only if they complied with federal laws requiring the compilation of detailed engineering data and expensive stress analysis. The government also often required a duplicate aircraft that could be tested to destruction, in order to validate the stress analysis. For a time, some amateurs flew under the protection of several legal loopholes in the regulations but the individual states soon began passing laws to close them.

The legal trend against amateur aviation continued after World War II until George Bogardus flew the Little Gee Bee from Oregon to Washington, D. C., in 1947, 1949, and 1951. These flights helped to convince officials in the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board that amateurs could design and build light aircraft that were safe, reliable, and capable of practical cross-country flights. The CAA enacted legislation in 1952 that for the first time sanctioned the registration and operation of amateur-built aircraft. Later that year, Paul Poberezny founded the first chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. In 2006, EAA could boast 170,000 members worldwide, and 15% of the U. S. General Aviation fleet of single-engine aircraft powered by piston engines was registered in the amateur-built experimental category.

With financial support from Lee Eyerly of Salem, Oregon, Tom Story of Portland had designed and built an aircraft in 1938 patterned on Leslie Long's Low Wing Longster. Story's airplane acquired the nickname Wimpy but when George Bogardus acquired it after the war, he renamed it Little Gee Bee. The Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc., Portland Chapter 105, began restoring the airplane about January 2005. In November 2006, they delivered the restored aircraft to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

George Bogardus flew the Little Gee Bee from Oregon to Washington, D. C., in 1947, 1949, and 1951. These three flights helped to convince officials in the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board that amateurs could design and build light aircraft that were safe, reliable, and capable of practical cross-country flights. The CAA enacted legislation in 1952 that for the first time sanctioned the registration and operation of amateur-built aircraft. Later that year, Paul Poberezny founded the Experimental Aircraft Association, which has grown into a worldwide organization with more than 170,000 members.

Little Gee Bee was built before World War II. With financial support from Lee Eyerly of Salem, Oregon, Tom Story of Portland designed and built an aircraft in 1938 patterned on Leslie Long's Low Wing Longster. Story's airplane took the nickname Wimpy but when George Bogardus acquired it after the war, he renamed it Little Gee Bee.

Gift of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Portland Chapter 105

Manufacturer
Tom Story

Date
1947

Location
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center, Chantilly, VA
Hangar
Boeing Aviation Hangar

Type
CRAFT-Aircraft

Dimensions
Wingspan: 9 m (29 ft 8 in)
Length: 5.7 m (19 ft)
Height: 1.5 m (5 ft)
Weight: Empty, 218 kg (485 lb)
Gross, 334 kg (743 lb)
Engine: Continental A-40, 4-cylinder, 4-cycle, air-cooled,
65 horsepower
Cruising Speed: 172 km/h (107 mph)
Maximum Speed: 195 km/h (121 mph)

George Bogardus had many interests. Among numerous hobbies, he dabbled in printing presses, amateur radio, and trap shooting, but his interest in amateur aircraft led him to make history. Between 1927 and World War II, amateurs who wanted to design and build their own aircraft could do so only if they complied with federal laws requiring the compilation of detailed engineering data and expensive stress analysis. The government also often required a duplicate aircraft that could be tested to destruction, in order to validate the stress analysis. For a time, some amateurs flew under the protection of several legal loopholes in the regulations but the individual states soon began passing laws to close them.

The legal trend against amateur aviation continued after World War II until George Bogardus flew the Little Gee Bee from Oregon to Washington, D. C., in 1947, 1949, and 1951. These flights helped to convince officials in the Civil Aeronautics Administration and the Civil Aeronautics Board that amateurs could design and build light aircraft that were safe, reliable, and capable of practical cross-country flights. The CAA enacted legislation in 1952 that for the first time sanctioned the registration and operation of amateur-built aircraft. Later that year, Paul Poberezny founded the first chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association. In 2006, EAA could boast 170,000 members worldwide, and 15% of the U. S. General Aviation fleet of single-engine aircraft powered by piston engines was registered in the amateur-built experimental category.

With financial support from Lee Eyerly of Salem, Oregon, Tom Story of Portland had designed and built an aircraft in 1938 patterned on Leslie Long's Low Wing Longster. Story's airplane acquired the nickname Wimpy but when George Bogardus acquired it after the war, he renamed it Little Gee Bee. The Experimental Aircraft Association, Inc., Portland Chapter 105, began restoring the airplane about January 2005. In November 2006, they delivered the restored aircraft to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

ID: A20070023000