09/30/2013. The prototype of the Pietenpol Air Camper, this aircraft was built in 212 hours by Bernard 'Bernie' H. Pietenpol of Spring Valley, Minnesota. Registered (N) 12937 it first flew on April 20, 1933. After more than 1,000 flying hours the aircraft was sold in 1936 to the three Lowinske brothers of Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. After an additional 500 flying hours it was acquired by Don Malherek of Truman, Minnesota in late 1939. In 1941 it was sold to Edgar Ritz, a local farmer, but during the war it was stored, it flew again in the late 1940s till 1950, when it was stored again.
In 1958 the aircraft was bought by Wally Hanson, a plumber from Minneapolis, Minnisota who took three years to rebuild the aircraft. As the aircraft has been deregistered its original registration N12937 was no longer available, hence it was registered as N4968E. On June 8, 1965, just after take-off the aircraft stalled and crashed, the pilot and passenger escaped serious injuries; N4968E was rebuilt. In July 1971, the aircraft was donated to Forrest Lovley, by that time the aircraft was reregistered to its original registration N12937.
In late 1990 the aircraft was purchased by a corporation formed specifically to ensure that the prototype Air Camper is properly preserved and exhibited, "Pietenpol 12937, Inc.", and on October 27, 1990, it was delivered to the EAA AirVenture Museum where it is still on display.