Glimps of Steve Bennet

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103

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Someone just digitized a promo video Steve Bennet made for the Sonerai line. It was great to get a glimps of our old friend Steve.

For those of you too young to know Steve Corvair Guru William Wynn wrote a nice homage here

Steve left an indelible mark on our Volk Flying Community.
 

Pops

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I have talked to Steve many times on the phone and have to agree Steve seemed like a very nice guy. Gave me answers to all of my questions and helped in any way he could. A lose for aviation.

Dan
 

103

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I will say Scott Casler is filing the void in the same style. He answered about 12 questions before I every bought anything from him. When my case cracked I handed him the business he provided excellent support.

Good news my secondary is timed and it appears I have a dry engine with good oil pressure. Once cowling is on I will do two 15 minute stress test on the ground and then keep it in the patern for 1 hour +/-.

The Cygnet is clean! Annual condition inspection complete only need to install new ELT battery and button things up. I really like the 009 based Compufire DIS-X ignition. I really have the big 3 in my engine. Hapi case, Great Plains long block, new case/Short from Scott.

20200313_171934_resized.jpg20200313_171908_resized.jpg
 

Pops

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Looks great.
I agree, I have met Scott several times. When he lived in Ohio, I use to go to the Hummel Bird fly-in each year.
 

Mike Stewart

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The thing has always had the look of a formula racer but everything being equal, power, weight (actually the Sonerai is usually a little lighter), a KR will out perform it in every aspect. Other than the facts that some people prefer to work with tube and fabric and also might like to pretend they have something that resembles a Cassutt, I don't understand its appeal otherwise.

We lost Ray Coty a couple months ago. Anyone who follows Formula I will remember him and Shoestring.

I've got Sonerai gear on my KR . . . it works really well:oops:.
 

Pops

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The thing has always had the look of a formula racer but everything being equal, power, weight (actually the Sonerai is usually a little lighter), a KR will out perform it in every aspect. Other than the facts that some people prefer to work with tube and fabric and also might like to pretend they have something that resembles a Cassutt, I don't understand its appeal otherwise.

We lost Ray Coty a couple months ago. Anyone who follows Formula I will remember him and Shoestring.

I've got Sonerai gear on my KR . . . it works really well:oops:.
I built a KR-2 back in the 70's but always thought I would like a KR-1 1/2.
 

Mike Stewart

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I built a KR-2 back in the 70's but always thought I would like a KR-1 1/2.
A few guys have set their KR-2's up with a single seat and called them KR 1½'s but as far as I know, Ken Cottle's modification (N335KC) of the KR-1 plans is the only true KR 1½ on the books. There's been a huge number of mods and variations on this idea of Ken Rand's, many of which haven't gotten to see the light of day for a variety of reasons. I guess that's hugely true regarding aviation projects in general.
 
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Victor Bravo

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We lost Ray Coty a couple months ago. Anyone who follows Formula I will remember him and Shoestring.
Wow, I didn't know he had passed. Interesting guy, great stick, and a true champion. A legend in every sense of the word. My sincerest condolences to his wife Gladys and to the rest of the racing community. He was pretty kind to me as a brand new racer, and even gave me a couple of suggestions on how to make the airplane go faster. I will never forget him looking at my landing gear and wheel pants, and saying "Hey kid, want some speed?" with a big smile.
 

Pops

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A few guys have set their KR-2's up with a single seat and called them KR 1½'s but as far as I know, Ken Cottle's modification (N335KC) of the KR-1 plans is the only true KR 1½ on the books. There's been a huge number of mods and variations on this idea of Ken Rand's, many of which haven't gotten to see the light of day for a variety of reasons. I guess that's hugely true regarding aviation projects in general.
I always thought about just building the fuselage at about 26" wide with the fixed gear. Good memories building the KR with my 3 children helping where they could. They still talk about the fun we had. My daughter still helps me when I need a extra hand. She is always there when I need to do some riveting or painting.
We worked together in all the work in restoring her 1947 Cessna 140.
 

Mike Stewart

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Wow, I didn't know he had passed. Interesting guy, great stick, and a true champion. A legend in every sense of the word. My sincerest condolences to his wife Gladys and to the rest of the racing community. He was pretty kind to me as a brand new racer, and even gave me a couple of suggestions on how to make the airplane go faster. I will never forget him looking at my landing gear and wheel pants, and saying "Hey kid, want some speed?" with a big smile.
Here's a picture I took in April, 2016 at the Chapter 14 hangar. Shoestring hangs from the roof of the San Diego Aerospace Museum Annex at Gillespie (KSEE)
 

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Mike Stewart

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Here's an early picture of Steve and his KR-1 named "Baby". Steve was tall and never did fit well inside normal KR's. My KR, built by Ken Cottle, another tall guy, was the only one he could comfortably fit in. With Ken's mods, bays were added both front and back which not only made room for long legs but also reduced pitch sensitivity and rendered a nice baggage area that can truly carry some "stuff". Ken was quite happy with his plane but he enjoys building so ended up selling his KR-1½ to Steve, mainly as a favor to him since his medical issues were making it more and more difficult (for Steve) to get in and out of normal KR's. When it finally became too difficult for him to get in and out of even Ken's design, Steve put it on Barnstormers and that's where I got it. It's still pretty much like new even though it's over thirty years old. Ken did a nice job with it.

The one in the attached picture, "Baby" was sold and last I heard was still flying. I've got pictures of it from the new owner. It's in a hangar somewhere in the mid-west (judging from the pictures). Steve flew this one "Baby" from Omaha (or maybe he was still in Rockford) all the way out to Chino to one of the early KR fly-ins, accompanied by Dan Diehl and "Old Blue." Just a little KR history and another glimpse of Steve in better days.
 

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