Ernie Gann’s Derringer
Ernie Gann (yeah, that Ernie Gann… Fate is the Hunter, others…) came to the home drome (Santa Paula Airport in SoCal) many years ago to visit friends on the field. He arrived in his Derringer. It was a bee-you-tifully crafted airplane. The chem milled skins allowed good thickness for riveting while shedding the excess weight of the extra thickness where it was not needed. He was a nice guy, fun to talk to and he gave me an enameled pin of the Douglas A-4 in Blue Angels colors. Of course I still have it! In another life, I worked for a commuter airline that flew Handley-Page Jetstreams. They had chem milled skins and guesstimated it saved about 40 lbs. per airplane. The process is expensive. They formed the parts, did the chem milling majick, drilled and countersunk, then anodized each part. Then primed and assembled with chromate putty on the faying surfaces… and finally applied an epoxy paint to most on the inside surfaces. They were making dang sure it didn’t corrode like it’s predecessor, the Herald.