The Corben Sport Plane and Supply Company was founded in 1929 by Orland Corben in Madison, Wisconsin. Its product was the Ace, a small, single-seat parasol airplane designed to be built from a kit by the owner using available automobile engines. The Ace has been called the first commercially marketed homebuilt aircraft in the world. In 1935, Corben built a sportier version, the Super Ace, to be powered by a Ford Model A engine. In 1938, the company was forced out of business when the United States outlawed flying in homebuilt airplanes. In 1948, however, the U.S. again permitted this activity, and in 1952, the rights to a two-seat version of the design, dubbed the Junior Ace, were bought and marketed by Paul Poberezny, founder of the Experimental Aircraft Association. Today, a company called Ace Aircraft continues to market the design.
The Ace was a well-designed and popular personal airplane, and has proven adaptable to modern powerplants and airworthiness requirements.
Super Ace replica, Madison, WI
This replica Super Ace was built by members of the Experimental Aircraft Association and hangs as a memorial in the Corben company’s birthplace at the airport near Madison, Wisconsin.