FAQ - Holcomb's Aerodrome

Welcome to my Aerodrome. If you look around my site you will find data, pictures, and details on the airplanes that interest me. As time goes by I hope to cover the selected aircraft in greater detail rather than cover significantly more aircraft with a broad brush. However I will add more aircraft as new material that is too good not to use presents itself or if the whim strikes. Included you will find Personal Aircraft, Race planes, Military aircraft and even Transports from the Pioneer Era, Great War and Golden Age. I hope to give personal aircraft a much more through treatment than I have so far as I feel that is one of the more interesting and neglected corners of history.

I have been to quite a few flyin's and airshows and yet I don't think I have a single photo of a Cessna 172 in my collection. I suppose the people of yesteryear were much the same, thus we have many photos of the race planes, the military planes, even the transports; yet comparitively few pictures of personal airplanes are available. I have been told that publishers have no interest in books on civil aircraft and light aircraft in particular as books on military aircraft and transports sell much more readily. That is not an issue anymore thanks to the internet. Consider this a self published book (who needs a publisher anyway), a collection of walk arounds or datafiles on the aircraft and flying machines of yesteryear.

All material used is either my own, is believed to be used with permission, or it is believed to be in the public domain. Please contact me if I am in error. The material on this website was posted for entertainment purposes only. Although I have tried to be accurate, this material may not be correct. The material contained on my web pages should not be used for the construction, engineering, design, operation or maintenance of real aircraft without first deciding it's merits for yourself. I make no guarantees or other claims about the suitability of anything shown here for any application including those applications illustrated here. Trademarks, service marks, and copyrights mentioned on this site are acknowledged to be the property of their respective owners.

How did you select which aircraft to cover

The covered aircraft all appeal to me. At the very least they caught my eye and I had enough material to justify a page. In many cases my choice was steered a bit by the availability of data. My goal is to delve into the details, practices, processes and all that was an airplane in a long past era. Given that, the selection of which airplanes to discuss is not as important as the depth of coverage. I am much more interested in the technical history of the machines than I am in the biographies of the people that used them.

Are there any other aircraft that you plan to cover

Yes. I am working on a number of pages.

Of course there is always room for another airplane to catch my eye. I can't seem to resist the tempatation of great source material. Thus, when enough data on an airplane that interests me shows up the scope of the page expands. I never planned to do a pages on the Gallaudet D-4 or even the HS-2L, however I added them to the collection when I fell into some great material on them. As it turned out it was a lot of fun to study those two aircraft. In fact, I feel that my Gallaudet D-4 and Curtiss HS-2L pages are among my more important pages as so little on these airplanes is available elsewhere.

Some of the airplanes that I would like to create pages for (and in no particular order) are the Heath Baby Bullet, Corben Jr Ace (prewar configurations only please, especially the aircraft sold under Group 2), Pietenpol Sky Scout, the Swallows (Laird, Swallow, New Swallow), Laird Commerical, more of the early WACO's, Travel Air 5000/Model R, Alexander Eaglerock/Bullet, Fairchild 22, Aeronca C-2, American Eagle/Eaglet, Sperry Messenger, the Crosby Racer, Lockheed Air Express, Lincoln Sport, Gere Sport, Rose Parakeet, the early Cessnas (C-34 and earlier), early Great Lakes models, Gee Bee D/Y, the early Pitcairn Autogyro's, Boeing/Thomas Morse MB-3, the Fleet Trainers, Vought VE-7, Stinson Detroiters/Reliant and any of the American attempts at a military aircraft for the Great War. Of course if enough material for all of those aircraft fell into my hands, I could not possibly manage to add that many pages. I am not worried as that seems unlikely. In fact, if the past is any indication, I will most likely find really great unlooked for material on an airplane that I did not think to add to the list. I suppose if enough material to cover all of these aircraft did happen to fall into my hands, I would have the pleasure of culling through the collection for the best and most unique stuff; a problem that I would very much like to have. I force myself to upgrade existing pages before adding new pages as I want to cover my current subjects in as much detail as I possibly can.

How often is this page updated?

As often as I can find time. My other aviation hobbies take more money than time. When my pursuit of flying empties my wallet I work on my web page. That happens quite often.

What are you going to do when you run out of webspace?

Unfortunatly that day is coming. I havent figured out what I am going to do when that happens. One option that I am considering is taking some of my pages and rotating them in an up a month/down a month fashion. Thus I will still have all the material but unfortunatly it will not all be available at the same time.

Can I buy copies of your photos?

No, I am not in that business. If you need a particular picture feel free to email me and I will try to point you in a direction that can help you.

How can I help?

There are several ways that you can help. If you also have a webpage please consider linking to my page. Contributions of relevant material or information is always appreciated. Please inquire before sending any large files to my email address.

What type of material are you looking for?

Whenver possible I want "original source material". Contemporary photographs, descriptions, magazine articles, and especially technical documents (maintenance manuals, operating handbooks, training manuals, blueprints, etc.) Pictures taken during repairs or restorations of details (especially details not visible on the assembled aircraft) are also of interest.

May I use the pictures on your site?

Please feel free to use any photo on my pages for personal use (images for screensavers, personal collections of photos). If you want to use the images on a noncommercial webpage of your own I ask that you please restrict your repostings to a sampling as it really is a waste of webspace to duplicate a website. Instead, I would suggest that you provide a link to my page which in fact is better than duplicating the photos as it is cheaper (takes much less memory) and you gain the benefit of my updates as my pages grow over time. If you do use my material on a webpage I ask that you credit me (Kevin Holcomb) in the case of uncredited photos, and credit my source via me in the case of credited photos (such as John Smith via Kevin Holcomb). Also, if you use material from my site I ask that you please add my site to your links page (if you have one.) Please do not use my material for commercial purposes without permission.

I feel that by distributing the images far and wide we have the best chance of them surviving. A single image in a shoebox, file cabinet, or even an archive is in danger of being forgotten, lost or possibly destroyed due to fire or even simply thrown out with the garbage when it comes to a corporate archive.

What size image files do you use?/How do you process your photos?

I scan at either 200 dpi for color or 400 dpi for b&w (especially old photos). Any higher resolution seems offer no increase in the quality of the scan (to do better I would need to scan a negative). Modern photo printing is adequate for the size of the print, however it does not fair well when blown up to larger than the size it started at. Initially I always work with the TIF format. I then crop the photo to better frame the subject or to remove open sky/ground/etc as there is no sense in using file space to show that. After cropping I resample the photo to 800 pixels wide on it's longest axis. Occasionally the quality of a photo justifies a larger format or does not have the detail to justify even 800 pixels or the original product was close to that size so no resampling is undertaken) I then adjust the brightness if required. I then save it in a jpg format at a high compression. I realize that this makes further manipulation of the file difficult, however it saves a dramatic ammount of file space allowing me the opportunity to offer much more material. Digital photos are handled the same way except that there is no need to scan them. In most cases this produces an image that is larger than the original with sufficient clarity.

How can I find data/research aviation?

There are many ways. If you have an aviation museum or archive nearby that is a great place to start. Or, you could seek out untapped sources. Aviation history is everyones history. Keep in mind that in the first part of this century airplanes were looked at with amazement and wonder. Thus when an airplane came to town many local people took pictures of it. After Lindbergh flew the Atlantic a great many communities rushed to establish airports or host 'aviation days' at their existing airports, often with great fanfair and planes from out of town. It is not suprising that many people took pictures at events such as those described above. Thus, it is likely that there are previously unpublished photos in your local community. You might start with the local Historical Society or other local archives. It is suprising how much stuff will find it's way to you once people know that you are interested.