Trivia Question – James Watt is credited with building the first practical steam engine, in 1781. Steam was used to power locomotives and ships for many years. A steam engine must have a fuel source, a boiler, and a supply of water to operate; their power-to-weight ratio makes them unsuitable for use in airplanes. True or False: No steam-powered airplane has ever been built and flown.
(Click here for answer)Mike Smith sent a link to an interesting site that has animated diagrams of various engine designs and how they work. Choose ‘Useful Links’ from menu at right. Allen Pepper sent in the following: ”Completed tail section for Challenger XL 65. Wings parts should arrive next week just as I am leaving for a week in Washington, DC. Fuselage parts ordered and should ship around February 1.” ( The Challenger XL-65 should be a good performer with an empty weight less than 600 lbs. It is an LSA; cruise speed is 90 mph.).
Quinten Graber sent in the photo below. His brother-in-law visited for a week or so over the holidays and helped him rebuild and install the engine in the Pitts. Maybe we’ll get to see it flying before too long.
Chapter President Joel Graber sent me the following project updates: Billy and Greg at Lowndes County are deep into an RV-8 project. Shane at Lowndes Co is building a Legal Eagle. Seems to be working on it every day. Project can be seen at Tom’s Paint (aka The Floor Gallery) on Gardner Blvd. Columbus. Kedric Borntrager at Macon just ordered a set of Double Eagle plans. Quinten worked all last week assembling the engine and installing it on his Pitts. Should be back in the air soon. There is work every Thursday evening at Paul Grabers hangar where we are restoring the Protech Prostar. Additionally, on Thursday evenings Gabriel Barnhart is building a Legal Eagle at Paul Grabers Daryl Schrock is every weekday working on the Glassair III at Macon. Bill Page and company appear to be still working hard on 2 legal eagles and 2 double eagles at Starkville.
And I’ll add to the list Allen Pepper’s Challenger project. Burt Nail is helping him with it. Also, Gary Kennedy has been working for quite a while rebuilding a Taylorcraft. He called me around Thanksgiving and informed me that it is now flying. I heard him on the radio recently – me at West Point and him at Okolona.
Chapter member Darryl Schrock is building a Glasair III (below). See more photos in Photo Gallery menu (2013/glasair project). Note big 300 hp Lycoming. The Glasair III cruises well over 250 statute MPH.
Abolish third-class medicals? You’ve probably seen the EAA and AOPA sites this week. The big news is a bill introduced in the U.S. House Wednesday by Reps. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and Sam Graves (R-MO) that seeks to abolish the third-class medical certificate for many pilots who fly recreationally. The General Aviation Pilot Protection Act of 2013 (HR 3708), co-sponsored by Reps. Bill Flores (R-TX), Mike Pompeo (R-KS), Collin Peterson (D-MN), and Richard Hanna (R-NY), would require pilots who fly recreationally to hold a valid driver’s license in lieu of a third-class medical certificate and operate under specific limitations. EAA and other aviation associations worked with Rep. Rokita to develop and promote this legislation as part of a continuing commitment to lowering barriers to aviation participation. Some of the limitations: Not for compensation Conducted in VFR operations only, at or below 14,000 feet MSL No faster than 250 knots In aircraft with no more than six seats and no more than 6,000 pounds gross takeoff weight. “The third-class medical certificate does little to evaluate the day-to-day fitness of pilots flying recreationally,” said Sean Elliott, EAA vice president of advocacy and safety. “There are better ways to maintain high medical standards for aviation and allow individuals the freedom to enjoy the world of flight.”
The EAA and the AOPA had petitioned the FAA to allow such a provision but the FAA has failed to act.