Al Meyers Airport - History
Al's Favorite Planes
Jenny WACO 225
WACO 9 Curtiss Falcon
WACO 10 Meyers (OTW prototype)
Stinson JS Simplex
Ireland Stinson J6-9
Douglas Liberty 038 Stinson SR-5
Douglas Hornet 038 Rearwing JR
Consolidated (PT) J5 Taylor - Cub
Consolidated (PT) Hisso Meyers - OTW #1
Trainer Fleet - Kinner
He began by working in metal as a "tin smith", and took flying lessons on Long Island, New York, at Curtiss Field, in 1928. There he soloed in a IN4, (OX-5 engine). Later he obtained his private pilot certificate. From 1928- 1932, he logged 140 hours. His logbooks indicate a great diversity of airplanes flown. At the time, he lived at 4312 Falls Rd., Baltimore, Maryland. From his flying logbooks we find that he flew the following planes between 1928- 1937: See sidebar.
On News Years Day, 1932, he flew the "Trainer" around Glenn Martin Field and Logan Field, testing stability and landing gear.
He bought a WACO-10 from Eleanor Smith about 1932, and used it for his personal training. Eventually he gave flying lessons with it. In his log book we can already read the formation of a basic concept in flying that was to guide his personal achievement and contribution to aviation. It was this: the airplane was not a gadget, a stunt object to show off, as in a circus, for personal glory. The airplane was to help free man, to give him personal mobility in a way not yet achieved. It would push progress in communication and transportation to levels not yet dreamed of. In the spring of 1932, he flew his WACO-10 750 miles, from Baltimore to Evansville, Indiana, and from his log we read that he was forced down by snow at least a half dozen times.
During the spring and fall, Al Meyers barnstormed in Tennessee and Georgia. In the summer, he covered the fairs of lower and upper Michigan. After his share of barnstorming and stunting, he left the field to those who had still to prove themselves.
Al Meyers used his airplane to travel, explore, make new friends, and to exchange ideas with people. He was a good listener, an avid reader, and learned much of his aviation theory in this way. His logbooks, from 1932-1937, make fascinating reading of his continuous cross country flight, at a time when navigational aids were meager, and most pilots were making small circles around an airport.
By the spring of 1933, Al Meyers was already instructing with the WACO-10 (OX-5), and all during that period he was evolving his own plane design. He was learning, from the WACO, how to improve a biplane. At the same time, he was earning money to finance his dream of building one. All these activities - instructing, cross country, barnstorming, working with airplanes on production - developed his image of a better personal airplane. About 1933- 34, he began serious work to finalize the design and build his first plane, later to be known as the OTW (Out To Win).
He was working at Stinson Aircraft as a sheet metal worker. He wrote for and read every piece of information he could obtain on wing design, loading, weight and balance. He went to night school to learn engineering drawing and mathematics. He began the construction of the fuselage of his plane in a one-car garage in Wayne, Michigan. Later, he was invited, by Jimmy Keehl, to move into Paul Keehl's Foundry (the father's) during the fall of 1934, at Romulus, west of Wayne, Michigan.