Meet the original plans draftsman, Robert Stephenson


Robert D. Stephenson was born on April 22, 1927 in Mackinaw, Illinois. He was a draftsman, carpenter and general contractor, working in commercial and residential construction throughout his career.

As a teenager, Bob earned his private pilot’s license and flew with the Civil Air Patrol in Peoria, Illinois, before serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. After his Naval service, Bob and his wife Dorothy and their two children resided in Morton, Illinois, where Bob enjoyed flying many light aircraft, including Cubs, Aeroncas and his favorite, the PT-19. In 1968, he began construction in his garage on a Falconar F-11, an all-wood aircraft he referred to as the Jodel after the design upon which it was based.

Around that time, Bob met Wilber Smith, designer of the Smith Termite, at EAA Chapter 129. They agreed that Bob would redraw the Termite plans. When Wilbur received orders for plans, which sold for $25.00, and information packs, which sold for $5.00, he would mail half of the money to Bob. Bob would then produce blueprints and mail them to the customer. He continued to produce Termite blueprints and info packs throughout the 1970s.

In 1973, Bob relocated to Cape Coral, Florida with his family, pulling his Jodel project on a trailer with the family car. He completed the Jodel in 1975 and enjoyed flying it for about 30 years.

Many thanks to Bob's son John, for the photo and bio.


Photos courtesy of Robert's son, John Stephenson