Sawdust
1987

 

Media watch. The April issue of Kitplanes had a feature article "Picking an Oregon Plum" on Ray Purkiser's Falco. Did we read it right, Ray, that your "well-equipped shop" included a "hand-cranked sander"? Karl Hansen's Falco was on the cover of the December Midwest Flyer and the latest Flieger Magazine in Germany, and it is the subject of a major article in a Brazilian magazine.

From the Christmas issue of Marchetti Matters, the newsletter of SF.260 owners: "To satisfy numerous requests, we repeat our 'Italian Stew' recipe for the holiday season. Ingredients: 1 elephant (medium size), 2 rabbits (optional), carrots and potatoes as needed, brown gravy (to cover), salt and pepper to taste. Cut the elephant into bite size pieces. Add brown gravy and cook at 465° for 3 weeks. Salt and pepper to taste. This will serve 3,800 people. If more guests are expected, add the two rabbits but only if necessary as there are many who do not like to find hare in their stew."

According to Air & Space magazine, "Voyager pilots Dick Rutan and Jeana Yeager will be immortalized in a movie based more on their relationship than on their accomplishment." Heritage Entertainment president Skip Steloff foresees the plot as "an incredibly beautiful love story." Whaaa?! This is the same jerk who hogged the wheel for 85% of the flight? The same bighearted fellow who wouldn't get out of the driver's seat for the first sixty hours, electing to sleep sitting up while his "partner" monitored the autopilot? After a terrible thunderstorm-filled night, they crossed the west coast of Africa and the male ego announces on the radio "I'm coming home." What's the matter, Dicky-boy, never heard the word we? Then after landing, this sweet fellow never even gave the girl a glance or acknowledgement that she was even part of the flight. What a guy! It was a tremendous flight, done with two lives at enormous risk, but gimme a break about the "love story".

Everything you ever wanted to know about wood and more: "The speed of sound in a structural material varies directly with the square root of the modulus of elasticity and inversely with the square root of the density. The speed of wood varies strongly with grain angle since the tranverse modulus of elasticity may be as small as 1/20 of the longitudinal value. Thus, the speed of sound across the grain is about one-fifth to one-third of the longitudinal value. The speed of sound decreases with increasing temperature or moisture content in proportion to the influence of these variables on the modulus of elasticity and density. The speed of sound decreases slightly with increasing frequency and amplitude of vibration, although for most common applications this effect is too small to be significant. There is no recognized independent effect of species on the speed of sound. Variablity in the speed of sound in wood is directly related to the variability of the modulus of elasticity and density." Got that? It's all in the latest edition of the Forest Products Laboratory's Wood Engineering Handbook, available for $49.95, plus postage and handling charges from Prentice-Hall, Inc., Professional Books Division, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey 07632.

Stelio Frati's latest design, the Jet Squalus made its first flight on April 30 and had accumulated about 40 hours by its appearance at the Paris Air Show. The two-place jet trainer is being designed for a consortium in Belgium. Frank Strickler reports that test pilot Jack Zanozzi spun the plane from less than 3,000' at the show. The flight test program is going very smoothly, and the airplane is flying better than expected. The jet is very quiet, and Frank Strickler reported that there was much interest in the plane.

Jim DeAngelo's Falco was on the cover of the April issue of Pilot magazine in England, and Karl Hansen's was on the cover of Fliegermagazin in Germany. One photograph of Karl sitting in the plane was captioned "Sequoia President Scott." All of the German pilots who called were very kind to me-good to know that people will still be nice to me when my hair falls out! Ray Purkiser's Falco was featured in an article in the June issue of In Flight.

Plans for one of the oldest and best homebuilt designs, the Pitts Special, are no longer available because of the continuing problems of "product liability" lawsuits in this country. While lawyers tut-tut about abuses and explain the lofty legal "principles" involved, what is happening in the U.S. is obscene. Christen Industries, for example, is being sued by a pilot of a plans-built(!) Pitts who pulled the prop through while the mags were hot, the engine fired and the prop cut one of the man's legs off. Our sympathies to the unfortunate pilot, but this is not any fault of Christen Industries, which will have to spend about $20,000.00 to get the suit dismissed. Aviation Consumer's Dave Noland told me with a straight face that product liability accounts for "only 7% of sales" for general aviation-tell that to Christen Industries who's last quote for the insurance was over $600,000.00 -- they used to pay under $30,000.00 for more insurance.

Media Watch. The August issue of Woodward Governor Company's Prime Mover Control had a cover article on the Falco with photos of Karl Hansen's, Pawel Kwiecinski's and John Oliver's Falcos. The August 30 issue of the Sunday New York Times carried an article, "The Big Business of Build-It-Yourself Planes," featuring photographs of a Christen Eagle and Bill Wink with his Falco project. The October issue of Kitplanes carried "Homebuilt Musings", an article featuring a photo of Brenda Avery along with various incoherent mutterings by A. Scott.

Glad To See It Happens To Someone Else. At Oshkosh I overheard an aviation writer telling a Bose headset salesman, "If you can get the price down, you could sell a lot of these." What an interesting and original suggestion! Can't you imagine the boardroom? "Gentlemen, Bill and I just got back from the big show yesterday and while we were there this writer made a suggestion that we thought you might like to hear. It could make a big difference in how many Model XT-43 Widgets we can sell. Why don't you explain the concept, Bill, since you were the one who talked to him...."

Congratulations to Jim DeAngelo, who took the award for the best homebuilt at the 11th annual New England Regional Fly-In at Orange, Massachucetts.

Falco builder, photographer Jonas Dovydenas has a new book out. Nevada, A Journey is a collection of his superb photography of the landscape and faces of our most barren state. His earlier book Chicago Houses was published by St. Martin's Press. Collector's editions are available for $225.00, but us pikers can just order the hardcover edition for $37.50 from Undermountain Press, Box 778, Great Barrington, MA 01230.

Falco media collectors will have to go to Japan for the latest on the Falco, an interview with Steve Wilkinson in English Journal, a video-tape-and-magazine comb-ination directed at Japanese businessmen who want to learn English. The interview is distributed on video tape along with a magazine which includes a printed transcript of the interview. Steve is interviewed by the lovely Consuelo, a six-foot-tall, semi-pro tennis player who towered over the minibus of tiny Japanese. See the latest Polish Wings newspaper for an article of Pawel Kwiecinski's Falco.

The FAA has a new Advisory Circular on how to obtain a Repairman's Certicate if you've built your own homebuilt. Obtain AC 65-23A from your nearest FSDO/GADO, or write FAA, 800 Independence Ave, S.W., Washington, DC 20591.

Intoxicated
[From February 1987 Pilot magazine in England] The pilot and his passenger were killed when the Skyhawk crashed into a slope not far from Las Vegas, shortly past midnight on a clear night with a nearly full moon.

The 57-year-old pilot had obtained his private license in 1980.

The plane had taken off sometime before 11 p.m. from Las Vegas. At midnight, a fisherman observed the lights of an aircraft flying very low over the water. The plane was located not far away the next day, having struck fifty feel below an escarpment.

Lab tests showed the pilot's blood alchohol level was 0.18 percent, and the level for his female passenger was 0.14 percent. In most U.S. states, drivers are considered intoxicated at a level of 0.10 percent, and Federal Aviation Regulations now limit pilots to 0.04 percent.

Police reported that, as evidenced by the position of the bodies and certain injuries to the pilot, the passenger was performing an act of oral sex at the moment of impact.


     

 

 

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