Unique Transportation At AirVenture
By ANN Correspondent Rose Dorcey
It took a while to chase down this story, literally. After
all... When you ask AirVenture attendees if they've seen a couch go
by, they think you're off your rocker. But it's not everyday you
see a turquoise 1950's era davenport drive by, so I hopped in my
truck and tracked through Camp Scholler to find the elusive
I found it by mid-morning, near a group of nine friends and
family members who were hangar flying outside their motor home. The
group are related by their love of aviation. Many have built or a
building an RV-6 or RV-9. Most are from the Minneapolis area,
employed as Northwest Airlines mechanics. Two sat on the couch.
This isn't just any couch, mind you; it's the most unique form
of transportation seen on the AirVenture grounds. Other unique
transports are found at this very campsite. Some of these nine
industrious men use unicycles or motorized bicycles to get around.
Now we understand what kind of group we're dealing with.
I asked what was under the hood, errr, the cushions. The couch
is powered by a six-horsepower Tecumseh engine. Mounted on a custom
steel frame, it runs up to 45 mph. A motorcycle throttle and brake
lever control the speed; the same bar moves up and down to control
the turns. Just like a 747 tiller, I'm told.
It has off-road tires, replaced after breaking the originals
from too-fast cornering, and they've been driving the heck out of
Clay Adams owns it. Clay is better known as owner of a gorgeous
Travel Aire in the American Barnstormers Tour. Clay lent the couch
to his friend, Stein Bruch, president of SteinAir, an avionics
dealer and instrument panel manufacturer near Minneapolis.
Besides being the proud owner of the Travel Aire and the sofa,
he also owns a motorized Lazy Boy, and a Weedwacker Margarita
Maker, said Bruch. "Plus a whole lot of other crazy stuff," he
Looking like something out of a cartoon, the davenport gets a
lot of attention as it motors through the grass. People smile and
"There's two kinds of people, those who openly stare, and those
who wouldn't be caught dead staring at it," said Bruch.
John Bruch, father of Stein, said that most people have told him
that it's the neatest thing they've seen in the years they've been
"Little kids to grandmothers just think it's the neatest thing,"
"To me, something you can build is better than something you can
buy," explained the eldest Bruch, a Sturgis, SD rancher and RV-9
builder. "It's very different, but I bet next year they'll be