CORBEN/LAMBERT BABY ACE D – N9017C
The Baby Ace was built in the early 1960s by Stafford “Casey” Lambert at his summer home on Lake Minocqua in northern Wisconsin. Paul Poberezny, a longtime friend of Casey, assisted with the project and flew much of the time that was put on the little sport plane.
Casey made enough changes to the Baby Ace that a new model designation was felt justified. The fuselage at the cockpit was widened to materially increase comfort for the pilot. Where necessary, the fuselage was strengthened to accommodate floats and an 85 hp Continental engine. The ailerons were extended one foot inboard and the fin and rudder were enlarged. These include a few of the many changes made to the earlier Model C Baby Ace.
Initially, the airplane was mounted on floats that were manufactured in 1938, one of the only items that was not new when the Baby Ace was assembled. The 1938 floats were in near perfect condition and had no leaks despite their many years of service. However, they were later replaced with a set of new Edo 54-1140 floats, which are a marvel in lightweight but strong construction.
The name “Box Full”, the title Casey dubbed his latest creation, represents the 25th airplane he owned. As an ardent hunter-sportsman, Casey would explain that as 25 shotgun shells make a box full, so the Baby Ace fills his box of airplanes.
The Continental engine was later replaced with an oversized Lycoming O-290-D2, rated at 135 hp. The result was a floatplane that performed with the very best. Paul reported that the Baby Ace would take off the water in 350 feet and register 2500 feet per minute rate of climb. In addition, it would loop from level flight with Paul making as many as six consecutive loops without loss of altitude.
When Casey Lambert died, his estate donated the Baby Ace on floats to EAA. The “Box Full” Baby Ace has been on display in the AirVenture Museum ever since.
Corben/Lambert Baby Ace D Corben/Lambert Baby Ace D