Today’s contest: Identity this Corvair motor mount.

Builders,

OK CONTEST IS OVER!

The correct answer is Kitfox 5, 6, and 7, tricycle gear.  Three guys guessed this, and I will send each of them a tee shirt, as soon as they write back with their size and address. Mike Maury was the first guy to mention this, because he has been waiting for this for a long time, and he is the “Outlaw Kitfox”  guy mention in previous stories. He was say it in about an hour and mentioned this, but I didn’t say he was wrong, I just left it alone. Later, 2 other guys Bob Krause and Ken Paxton, followed Mike, and notice, I didn’t say they were wrong either.  Don’t be mad, it was a great brainstorming session of classic homebuilts.

Dan and Rachel built several of these mounts, Mike’s is just the first one pictured. If you are a Kitfox guy, you can call Rachel direct at SPA/Panther for pricing and delivery. 904 626 7777 ext #1. These were several years in development, and now they are an on the shelf item. Progress.  -ww.

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Here is todays contest: Use the comments section to identify this motor mount. Bonus points for knowing which models of the aircraft it fits, and the landing gear configuration. First builder with the right answer gets a tee shirt, and the first smart aleck who guesses Cessna 162 will get a sack of rubber dog poop flown in from Hong Kong:

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Above, the mount on a rotating stand. Picture was taken today in the SPA/Panther factory. Mount design and layout is by Dan Weseman, fabrication by Mr. Travis, aka “Retro Black“.

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Above, right side up. Notice it has it’s own custom MA-3SPA intake and Custom exhaust.

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Could be some hints here: Mounts at Oshkosh and Colleges.

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May the most eagle eyed builder win.  Start typing, if it takes two tries to guess right, we will send your tee shirt with the sleeves torn off, Larry the Cable guy style.

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-ww.

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The dummy motor pictured has actually made about six trips to Oshkosh as my display motor, when it was cosmetically more youthful. We dressed it out with accessories to look real, but it spared risking a real engine getting damaged by weather or in transit It has no valuable parts inside. Every year, after the last day of the show, I would unbolt it from the stand, and leave it right out by the road overnight to see if anyone would heist it. Inside it was a note saying “I hope you had fun carrying this boat anchor all the way to the parking lot.” A potentially fun joke, but no one ever took it.

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FMU – The greatest flying club never started.

Builders,

Grace and I were a small part of promoting the Sport Pilot program all the way back to meetings held at EAA headquarters in the winter of 2003. I had great hope that it would usher in a revival of purist stick and rudder flying, a giant correction to an industry which was mired in promoting ‘glass cockpits’ and the plague of powered parachutes.

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When is came to pass, it contained most of what I hoped for, but the media coverage was rapidly hijacked by ‘affordable’ $179K Rotax/Euro trash all sporting wheels and brakes liberated from Italian scooters and then Cessna’s Chinese fecal masterpiece, the C-162 ‘Spincatcher’. All of these things were marketed with pictures of yuppies who walked out of a 1988 J. Crew catalogue. Comparatively, I had hoped for Mark Donohue in Nomex, driving a 1968 Penske Camaro and they had sent a guy named Biff in a sweater, driving a Prius and told me to be happy about it..

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As an emotional revolt to this, I spent the after hours of Oshkosh 2005 drinking beer and ranting to Gus Warren and Grace about how we would start a revolt, a correction, in the form of a very loose knit flying club, a brotherhood of people who would understand what had always been great about flying pure and simple planes. All things about the club would be evaluated on one basis only : Would Pappy Boyington do this? 

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Above, the critical artwork, a visual call to arms for the faithful of flying, a summons from all that was holy in flight. This was drawn in a moment of inspiration by Gus Warren, and carefully pressed by Grace between the pages of Langewiesche’s Stick and Rudder to await the start of the revolution.

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The membership was to be somewhat secretive, so we could infiltrate the regular aviation media, and wait for the right moment to strike.  The members would know each other because their planes would bear a 4″ green roundel on the tail, with the letters “FMU”, reminiscent of  eight ball on the tail of a Comanche 400.  The more beer I had, the clearer the plan became. I had discovered the antidote. I put my head on the pillow that night contemplating the modest tone I would take in my inevitable speech at the theater in the woods, when the new regime was in control and a bronze statue of both Pappy and Paul hoisting a beer together under the brown arch, after they were done escorting the C-162 people off the premises.

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I awoke the next morning to the memory of A. E. Housman’s ode to ale, Terrence this is stupid stuff, his observation that “Ale does more than Milton can to justify God’s ways with man.”  I was particularly caught on the lines:

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Ale, man, ale’s the stuff to drink
For fellows whom it hurts to think:
Look into the pewter pot
To see the world as the world’s not.
And faith, ’tis pleasant till ’tis past:
The mischief is that ’twill not last.
Oh I have been to Ludlow fair
And left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half way home, or near,
Pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad,
And I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain,
Happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky:
Heigho, the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet,
I was I, my things were wet,
And nothing now remained to do
But begin the game anew.

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What was FMU to stand for?  Flying Monkeys from Uranus of course.

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-ww.

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More DFI testing

Builders,

14 months ago, I wrote this story about a dual electronic ignition system that I was working on: Ignition part #3301-DFI, a new optional system. Past of today was spent running a further refined version on the test stand. This is a good illustration of how thoroughly new ideas are tested long before any customer ever flies one. Every bit of the testing has been positive, but yet, and the end of the day, Dan Weseman and I spent some time staring at it trying to figure out in what obscure set of circumstance it might be tormented into not working. Any supplier who doesn’t have this basic out look at his own products and efforts, a person who thinks he can’t make a mistake, is someone you shouldn’t trust around airplanes. Your safety isn’t a poker chip to be played by some ego who can’t picture being wrong. Guinea pigs cost $20 at a pet shop, and that is what a person who releases things that were not tested looking for how they might fail, thinks your life is worth. Having the correct attitude is what I was getting at with this story: Competing for 2nd place.

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On the left, the 2015 prototype system, on the right, The updated 2017 version. It has revised timing internally, the trigger wheel is a different shape, it used the modern production Fast modules, and they are recessed in the plate to allow better mounting for the full height of the rotor.  The development was all drawn into CAD by Dan, and the revised parts were made in house at the SPA/Panther factory. The revisions were evolutions from testing, primarily extensive professional Dyno runs on 3.0 and 3.3 engines done last year, which also provided the data for this: Critical Understanding #5, Knowing “+ROC/5” Rate of Climb on Five cylinders. This type of integrated design, testing, dyno runs and flights, through several revisions, all with the right attitude, is what sets our work apart from people who express pet theories on the net based on limited experience, and slanting information to support a pre chosen conclusion. Read what you like, take your pick, follow the opinions of whom ever you like, just understand what your wager is.

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-ww.

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