10:41 AM

Silvered Wings: Brunner-Winkle "Bird," BK (1929)

Brunner-Winkle "Bird," BK (1929), NC81K

  • Capacity: three
  • Length: 23 feet
  • Maximum speed: 110 mph
  • Cruise speed: 92 mph
  • Range: 500 miles
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 feet

The Brunner-Winkle “Bird” model B, later redesignated BK to identify the upgraded five-cylinder Kinner K5 100-horsepower engine, was a three-place open-cockpit biplane.

Trim and graceful, the “Bird” was well-mannered and completely trustworthy. Charles Lindbergh himself put it through the paces and thought so much of its personality and ability that he bought one for his wife, Anne, to fly.

Built by Brunner-Winkle Aircraft Corp. at Glendale, Brooklyn, New York, the fuselage was welded chrome-moly steel tubing, faired to shape with wooden strips and covered with fabric. The fuselage’s entire top section was covered with removable aluminum panels, while the wings were built up with spruce, plywood, and duralumin leading edges. The small, rear-staggered lower wings allowed pilots to always see their wheels –  a very helpful feature for takeoff, landing, and ground handling.

NC81K was flown by Civil Air Patrol’s Michigan Wing.

Maj. Ron Finger is a freelance illustrator and member of the Minnesota Wing’s Crow Wing Composite Squadron. Recently honored by the Minnesota Aviation Hall of Fame as Artist of the Year, he is an Air Force Art Program artist, where a select pool of artists are assigned “art missions” to document specific U.S. Air Force operations. 

Among his duties as Civil Air Patrol’s national artist, Finger researches and creates art that portrays our historical emergency service. A personal goal is to complete paintings documenting every aircraft type CAP has flown. 

This is the 10th painting in Finger's second series of depictions of vintage CAP aircraft. More of Finger’s CAP artwork can be seen at redpine.net.

Silvered Wings No. 1 – Fleetwings Sea Bird F-401
Silvered Wings No. 2  Curtiss-Wright 15-D Sedan
Silvered Wings No. 3  Rearwin Sportster 7000
Silvered Wings No. 4 - Cessna U-3B “Blue Canoe”
Silvered Wings No.  5 - Aeronca C-3 (1932)
Silvered Wings No. 6 - Rearwin Sportster 900-L
Silvered Wings No. 7 - Travel Air C-4000
Silvered Wings No.8 - Kinner “Sportster B”
Silvered Wings No. 9 - Boeing Model 40-A/B