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EAA Experimenter

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By Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743, ppanzera@eaa.org

Pat Panzera

Days after we heard about the passing of aviation journalist and photographer Howard Levy we heard that we also had lost Morry Hummel. This issue is dedicated to the memory of both of these fine gentlemen. The next issue of EAA’s Light Plane World will feature a reprint of the Hummel UltraCruiser, God’s Gift, published in the August 2006 issue of EAA Sport Pilot & Light-Sport Aircraft.

Last month’s how-to article on connecting rod balancing was very well-received. So well, in fact, I thought I’d bring more “blueprinting” articles to this month’s issue. If you have something to contribute to further education in the area of blueprinting, please don’t hesitate to contact me about publishing it.

Maxwell Propulsion Systems
My first exposure to Maxwell Propulsion Systems (featured in this issue) was by way of a small ad in the back of EAA Sport Aviation magazine. I was stunned to see a photo of what was obviously an NSI Subaru conversion being marketed under a different name. NSI doesn’t have the best reputation, so I thought to myself, “Here we go again.” Then at COPPERSTATE 2007 I was able to meet John and Gwen Maxwell, owners of Maxwell Propulsion Systems (MPS) in person, and without letting on who I was and what I knew about NSI, I asked some very hard questions…and got all the right answers. Then I asked point-blank about MPS’s connection with NSI and was assured that they were as unhappy with what went down as everyone else - they were probably hurt the worst, as the Maxwells were an investor in the now-defunct NSI company.

I then caught up with MPS at Sun ’n Fun 2008 and later that year at AirVenture. Each time the company had evolved a little further, so I made arrangements to visit its shop in Arlington, Washington. What I found was very reassuring. I was able to fly its engine as installed in the company’s Glasair GlaStar Sportsman (as shown on the cover of CONTACT! Magazine issue #96), the same ship that had made the nearly 4,000-statute-mile round trip to OSH, twice. Arising from the ashes of the failed NSI, John and Gwen Maxwell are determined to turn things around and provide a quality product at a reasonable price, and do it with the highest degree of professionalism. We’ll be following MPS’ progress, so consider the article by Dominic Acia as the first of hopefully many installments.

William’s Book Review
We don’t normally review books in Experimenter, but this time I’ve made an exception. Although Experimenter is designed to be a nuts-and-bolts electronic publication, we’re all human, and from time to time, it’s nice to share that commonality when discussing experimental aviation.

I recently found One Six Right on Hulu.com and decided to post it as a link from this newsletter. Hulu is okay, but to really appreciate the quality of this cinematographic masterpiece, you need to see it in high definition. The first time I watched it was on my laptop while on a layover from AirVenture. The plane was delayed so I saw the entire movie, and ended up with an audience standing behind me. Even though they couldn’t hear the movie, the flying sequences drew a crowd.

I noticed another movie, Skydance, while perusing Hulu.com and decided to link to that as well. Like One Six Right, the images are beautifully surreal - although the storyline and acting in Skydance leaves a lot to be desired. One critic said it was best watched with the sound turned off. I just fast-forwarded between flying scenes, which are absolutely stunning.

Let’s Keep the Ball Rolling!
Remember, we always need your contributions. It’s getting harder each month to produce a quality newsletter, and I really need your help.

And don’t forget to leave your comments and feedback in the survey, located at the bottom of the right column of the table of contents.

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