Ace Aircraft is one of the oldest kit planes on the market today.
The names of "Ace" Corben, Ed Heath, and B.H. Pietenpol were
synonymous with experimental homebuilt aircraft as far back as 1930.
Presently, we still find the basic designs of "Ace" Corben still
being built, flown and admired by those who still find the past as
exciting as the designs and materials of the present.
During 1935.Popular Aviation
magazine published a series of articles concerning this attractive
single-seat sportplane intended for construction by amateurs. A Ford Model
A automobile engine was used for power, and it too was subject of an
article describing modifications and needed accessories.
The Super-Ace was designed by Orlan G. Corben, who had also produced other
sport planes such as the Baby-Ace and Junior-Ace,Praiseworthy for
simplicity and economy. The Super-Ace incorporated similar
straight-forward construction philosophy combined with readily available
low cost materials. Its exciting appearance and spirited performance made
the Super-Ace an intriguing proposition, as did the dramatic full-colour
painting by Hermin R. Bollin on the April 1935 Popular Aviation
Paul Poberezny, founder of the EAA, gave renewed life to the Corben
designs back in 1954 when he acquired the remains of the Corben
Airplane Company. Paul deserves recognition for his role in keeping
the Corben designs alive.
The Baby Ace has
proven to be a popular design. The fuselage of the open-cockpit
single seater is made of steel tubing covered with fabric. The wing
is made of two wood spars, also covered with fabric. The Junior Ace
is a side-by-side two seater constructed in the same manner. Owners
praise the designs because they are easy to build and fly.
Depending on the
powerplant -- typically a Continental C-65 or C-85 -- the Baby Ace
will cruise at around 100 mph and climb at 1,200 fpm, according to
Ace Aircraft. The Junior Ace, with a C-85, will cruise at 105 mph
and climb at 500 fpm. Both aircraft have a range of about 350 miles.