My condolences.This is very painful to write, but it needs to be done.
My good friend Pete Plumb passed away a couple of weeks ago. He had a heart attack during his morning walk at the airport.
The stresses of trying to run two or three aviation businesses had damaged his heart and given him a near-death experience several months ago, he had gone in for heart surgery, stents, bypass, etc. and come out of it OK. He had recovered with a reasonably clean bill of health, and after the prescribed rest and recuperation he had gone back to work building wood wings, finalizing the design of the Cracker Jack 2, and continuing the development and testing of the O-100 engine as described in this thread.
But apparently the stresses of running these ventures, and desperately trying to complete the O-100 project and get to market with a truly world class engine that brought together the best of the old and the new, was too much for his heart.
I have been in touch with Pete's closest associate and Pete's family. They asked me to not make any public announcements for a short time, and I have respected that wish. This evening I asked the family for permission to let the HBA group know about his passing, and they permitted me to do so.
The family DOES NOT want to have to deal with inquiries about the engine; they have asked me to be the gatekeeper for that, and for me to absorb/filter/manage any and all inquiries about the engine. So please, at the request of a grieving family please do not contact them about the O-100 at this time.
What I CAN say is that the O-100 engine is hopefully NOT going to disappear. There is interest by Pete's family to have the engine development finished and brought to market. They do retain and will aggressively defend the intellectual property, design rights, all parts, tooling, parts manufacturing relationships, etc. etc. None of the existing engine parts or components are in any danger of being lost, scrapped, stolen, or otherwise scattered.
When the time is right for the family, I will facilitate and assist them in discussions about how, when, and with who to proceed with the engine project.
The only thing I can promise everyone on this HBA forum is that like most of you I want to see the engine succeed, and I will do my part in pushing it toward that outcome. I'll be glad to answer questions that have not been answered in this post already.
Also, although I'm not aware of any dates or plans at this point, it is the family's intent to eventually have a celebration of life and memorial event for family and friends. If and when I hear about that, I will post it here.
Thank goodness, Pete's family does know this. They know there is a decent market for this engine, just as we on HBA know. They also are plenty well educated enough to not sell or license or turn over the project to just any well-meaning person who does not have the combination of skill, experience, financial capacity, and hands-on wherewithal to do it right.