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  1. crusty old aviator

    Best fuselage shape

    1:3 is the most efficient ratio in fluid dynamics (unless you throw in the psi principle, fibonacci, etc., but that’s for Jay at Pax Scientific to explain). That’s why the Questair and the Strojnik and Kolb designs are so efficient. Watch Mike Arnold’s video, Why it Goes so Fast, on youtube...
  2. crusty old aviator

    New Tractor Gyro

    ...or you could use titanium tube.
  3. crusty old aviator

    How wide for a side-by-side?

    60”, or 152 cm. Butts are getting bigger and people with fast food addictions, thyroid disorders, and type II diabetes shouldn’t be discriminated against. Employing the old 1 to 3 ratio of fluid dynamics, a 5’ wide ride will be 15‘, or 4.6m long. Need a longer fuselage? Widen it out to 6’...
  4. crusty old aviator

    LoPresti's Spectra Aircraft

    There’s a Canadian homebuilt amphib that was designed and built in the 60’s, IIRC, called the Blue Teal. She was listed in Janes. Ken Gamble, in Ontario, owned her for several years before someone noticed her and agreed to his price, some time in the early 80’s. She was similar to the Taylor...
  5. crusty old aviator

    LoPresti's Spectra Aircraft

    The film of the Spectra was shot on the Indian River, off Merritt Island, in the same location where an even better amphibian, the Airshark, would be test flown less than two decades later...another wicked cool amphib that should have had many more examples built.
  6. crusty old aviator

    Vernon Payne's Sky Kitten Biplane - 1936 Design

    Ol’ Vern sure moved around a lot: he was either way ahead of his time...or local creditors.
  7. crusty old aviator

    Wow! Taylor Bird project - rare as it gets!

    A friend of mine, still kicking at 97, had a full set of Taylorbird plans that he asked me to sell for him in the summer of 18: they sold wicked fast on Barnstormers, so maybe we’ll be seeing another one at the fly-ins... This same friend, who was a Ham-Std engineer and had owned a succession of...
  8. crusty old aviator

    Quality Vinyl Decals

    No, that’s a pretty reasonable price for durable vinyl. There’s some goomer on eBay asking $85 for one!
  9. crusty old aviator

    Vernon Payne's Sky Kitten Biplane - 1936 Design

    Have you checked with EAA HQ’s librarian in Oshkosh? They have a pretty good plans library. At the very least, they could take photos of the plan sheets and email them to you.
  10. crusty old aviator

    Push-Pull control tube fabrication

    Be careful with reducing your tube OD! 1/2” is pretty small unless it’s sliding through a roller fairlead every 2’, like in many Euro gliders. Use 2024-T3: it’s much stiffer (and more expensive) than 6061-T6, and you’ll want to paint the outside and ACF-50 the inside, as 2024 is also less...
  11. crusty old aviator

    Quality Vinyl Decals

    I get my vinyl prop decals from Monte Chase at They’re pretty good and don’t cost a wing and a main...
  12. crusty old aviator

    What is an affordable ultralight?

    George Ritz’s geodetic low wing could be built for under $2K, if you can find drawings for it, and a HF 22hp Vtwin could push it around.
  13. crusty old aviator

    If an airplane production line stops...

    Did it stop due to lack of sales, or the pandemic?
  14. crusty old aviator

    For the small plane A&Ps out there

    I was interviewing for an engineering job at an aerospace outfit with the goomer who would have been my boss. When I mentioned that I had my A&P, he just dismissed it, saying there was no relevance. I stood up, told him that my life was too short to waste any of it working for such a...
  15. crusty old aviator

    For the small plane A&Ps out there

    One of the first things they told us at A&P school, in 1980, was that the US Dept of Labor classified A&P’s as “semi-skilled labor.” That’s a pencil-necked bureaucrat for you: doesn’t understand what he’s evaluating, so he puts it in the middle of the pack and moves on to the next baffling job...