Not too many years ago, I used to own a Smith Mini-plane (DSA-1), tailnumber N8NE. Many hours of fun (and sometimes sheer terror) came from that airplane. It was powered by a 125hp Lycoming, held 10 gallons of fuel, having just about 2 hours of flight time on a tank. With me and full fuel, it weighed 918 lbs. and would sustain a 2000 fpm rate-of-climb for exactly 1 minute. With the throttle back however, it then had a glide ratio very much like a bathtub.
For those of you who have had the pleasure of flying a Smith, you know they're stable enough to fly "hands-off" long enough to light a cigarette, if the lighter works on the first try.
All photos © W. C. "Bill" Porter 1981-1999
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