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Discussion in 'Classics' started by mauld, Aug 17, 2014.
When my father died, we were finishing the fuselage of a Mystery S. Think a Delta pilot bought it from the family, don't remember his name, tho I do remember he stiffed my mom on part of the purchase price. Lovely bird, that was one that I really wanted to solo (fat chance!!). Still have scars from the welding and building of the fuselage. Memories!
And I just found prints for the fuselage this evening. Sturdy does not describe it.
You know you've been reading up on flying machines too long, when you click play on the video like I did, and the first thought that comes pops in your mind mind is... "NACA Cowl..."
Looks to me like he flies it sideways, just to be able to see where he is going... forward visibility is way over rated...
Taxiing is fun with a radial engined bird...lots of S turns. A commercial pilot, ex-military, and a homebuilder went up with my father in our Monocoupe. His first comment is "do you hang your head out the door to find the runway?" Just about blind forward. Makes you check the pattern VERY well before takeoff, as well as the runway. We built our own cowlings...think I still have fiberglas in my hands from hand-layup of the valve "Bumps". Most Coupes ended up on their backs at some point in their lives, due to either braking or keeping the tail up so you could see.
That is why few folks really mastered the Monocoupes and why it was a challenge to fly back in the "good old days" when most everything had a radial. (and they all sounded Wonderful...!). One of my pick as one of the most sexy airplanes...a Staggerwing is the other.
That distinction is not solely-owned by radials...
The J-3 Cub is also a little blind from the solo seat, at least while on the ground.
A local doctor had two of those, story was that he headed up to Oshkosh in one, had engine trouble a couple of hundred miles short of Oshkosh, landed at an airport with an FBO that had a mechanic that knew the Aeronca, and was able to get a commercial flight up to an airport close to Oshkosh. He grabbed his gear bag and one of the FBO employees got him to the terminal just in time for the flight (pre-TSA). As he got onto the airplane, he heard gasps and comments as he made his way to the back of the plane. That is when he remembered that he still had his chute on...he resisted the desire to say, "evening all, I am your pilot for this flight."
He also used to complain that he would get passed by VWs when flying IFR (I follow roads),
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