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1928 Church Midwing JC-1 – N9167

The Church Midwing was originally advertised as “the sportiest, safest, best-looking airplane in the light, single seat class,” and sold as a home-built kit.

Like the first Church aircraft, built by James Church in 1928, the Church Midwing has a Heath fuselage, which is wire-braced and bolted. The Midwing lacks a windscreen, providing the pilot protection from windblast with a cowling, which extends from the firewall to the instrument panel. The instrument panel itself consists only of a tachometer, and oil pressure and temperature gauges.

Gene Chase acquired the fuselage, stabilizer and elevator, Church wings with ailerons, windshield cowling, and a set of plans in the 1960’s. Working from those plans, which are copies of the original set drawn by James Church, Gene began a five-year restoration process. This process culminated in a plane, which is constructed and finished exactly like the original, down to its striking yellow and black paint scheme.

Gene’s restored Midwing made its first appearance at EAA during the 1970 Oshkosh fly-in. It made its first flight at the Ottumwa Fly-In in September of that year, witnessed by the plane’s creator, James Church. On May 29, 1972, James Church visited Gene Chase in Tulsa and flew the plane; he notes in the plane’s log book that this was, “my first flight in one of my Mid-Wings since 1941 (31 years ago).”

Donated by: Gene R. Chase


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