Written by Hanna Brandt/Museum Intern
Though some have said that flying in an Oldfield Baby Great Lakes makes a pilot look like a “giraffe in a roller-skate,” the capabilities of this tiny plane are undeniable. Designed in the mid-1950s after the larger Great Lakes 2T-1, this aircraft is a homebuilt; meaning that pilots and air enthusiasts purchase plans and kits from which to construct the plane. While the Baby Great Lakes is used for aerobatics and recreational flying, its speed is unmatched by most World War II fighters! Airborne after 5 seconds, the plane climbs at a rate of 2,000 feet per minute, making it a speedy aircraft, despite its small, awkward appearance.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum’s Oldfield Baby Great Lakes was donated by Earl Thorp in 1999. He describes the airplane as “good but a little quick.”