Little Audrey Interesting Oddity

I've seen "Little Audrey" hanging in the EAA museum many times, but never really noticed this little detail before. It is common for airplanes of World War II vintage to have metal-skinned wings and tail surfaces, with fabric - covered controls. But this plane turns that around, skinning the wings with fabric and the ailerons in metal.

I guess the question I have to ask is--does anyone know why? I sure don't...

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and a Subsonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

6 Replies to “Little Audrey Interesting Oddity”

  1. Contrary to the mythology, Paul wasn't much of a home builder, relying heavily on friends who had the skills and knowledge he lacked. All the photos of him welding were staged. This isn't to denigrate the man, he just had some short-comings, like we all do. Anyway, a friend of Paul's had a set of ratty, fabric covered wings that he gave to Paul to clip and attach to his recently acquired fuselage. Paul was never into Golden Age racers, so preserving the history of Pete was of no interest to him. Thus, Pete became Little Audrey. The early Luscombe 8A had fabric covered wings and all metal control surfaces because they were less labor intensive to build, more resilient to nature, and "modern!"

  2. Yep, Paul used what he had available. Plus he did not have any money. He was a Reserve Air Force Pilot with a High School education, not an engineer

  3. That's the way Luscombe wings were built. Later Super Cubs
    (Like after 1970?) also had metal control surfaces on the wings.

    I disagree with the earlier characterization of Paul Poberezny. Using parts from other planes was common place in the 50's. As to Paul never being able to weld, I'd like to see proof of that. He may not have taken an interest in Golden Age Racers but he made sure to give Antiques and Classic good representation on the EAA magazine. Also, when Little Audrey was made it was probably like taking something built in 2001 and creating a homebuilt from other parts. After WW II, people would buy boxes that contained airplanes for the wood in the box - not the airplane! Also, it's fair to remember, making a homebuilt was often made on a budget.

    Making Ailerons of corrugated aluminum was sizable time saver over built-up controls.

    People might disagree with Paul Poberezny on some matters. That goes with the territory. But he certainly has been great influence on general aviation that few can take greater credit for.
    It is my expectation that Paul will be lionized in the sport of flying and aviation in general. He is one the good guys.

    My opinion may be biased, but much of what G.A. enjoyed today was due to the efforts of a simple man with great dedication, the results of which all of us benefit today and into the future.

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