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Bits and Pieces

Airport Cars, Human-Powered Helicopters, and Restoring a Golden Hawk

By Ian Brown, Editor – Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159

Ian Brown

We had the pleasure of interviewing two Canadian stars of aviation this month. Pete McLeod, Canadian Red Bull air racer, and Cameron Robertson, who with Todd Reichert led a team of engineers and friends to build the winner of the Sikorsky Prize. You may have heard that this was the first human-powered helicopter capable of climbing to 3 metres and sustaining flight for 60 seconds while remaining within a 10-metre square box. Cameron was a fascinating person to interview, and you will almost certainly be curious to read what it took to design and build this marvelous machine.

The regular flying season is just about done, the fall colours are tailing off, and you might be thinking about getting a nice warm space to work on some winter airplane projects. If you have a project in mind that would be interesting to others, why not submit it as an article for Bits and Pieces? You don't need to be an experienced writer, just someone with a passion for what they're doing. Also, if you know of an interesting project, consider being a surrogate author for the person or project you are thinking about.

Winter is also a great time to be cruising the EAA archives for ideas, especially the webinar content. More than anything else, aircraft builders are problem-solvers. Learning from the masters is a great way to put yourself on the fast track. I spent two days thinking about a solution to a problem that finally came to me (see Builder's Tip). The solution would have been ready and waiting in the memory banks if I'd ever come across it. You can read books and learn a great deal, but searching webinar titles for the exact information you need is one of those miracles of the Internet.

We have an update on the restoration of the Golden Hawk F-86 Sabre jet this month. It stands guard over the Royal Canadian Air Force Memorial in Germain Park, Sarnia, Ontario. It was in need of a restoration that would keep it from decaying away. A group of volunteers led by Mark Sebuitis decided to pull it down and do a complete refurb. Mark tells Bits and Pieces that we were influential in getting volunteers and donors to pitch in. You can read his status report in this issue. If you have a project of this nature, let us hear about it.

Whenever you have news of something you think our readers might like to know, that is time critical - such as a fly-in change or something you would like Bits and Pieces readers to know about - you can post it to our Facebook page. Check in regularly to keep up to date on what's happening.

After you've checked out the Sikorsky Prize-winning flight video and the earlier crashes during testing, you might like to go to the Red Bull Air Race site and make a note of the race days in your calendar. As pilot Pete McLeod says, it's a pity that there won't be a race in Canada. But we'll all be wishing him success in Abu Dhabi and the other locations around the world.

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