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I’ll Fly Away

By David Scott, EAA 1161710

April 21, 2016 - I really enjoyed and related to the story, “Back to Basics” by David Goering in the November 2015 issue of Sport Aviation magazine. I appreciate the beauty, the form, the noise and smell of a PT-17 crop duster like I once flagged in Beaumont, TX. It is much more “collaterally” beautiful than the new, smooth, carbon fiber aircraft arriving at the air shows today. Beauty is truly in the eyes (and ears and nose) of the beholder, and involves more than a high glossy finish.

Seems like I have always wanted to fly. While building stick and tissue paper airplanes back in the 1950s, I dreamed of building a full-size model and flying it out of my driveway someday. In May of 1955, Mechanix Illustrated magazine featured the plans for building the Baby Ace. I blew up plans for most of the featured parts while in mechanical drawing class in high school. Then, after moving to Seattle, Washington, I actually built the Baby Ace wings, ready for inspection. However, I lost my job at Boeing, moved out of the house with a shop and went to college with a new wife and baby. The wings were stored for a time and later sold for $80, exactly what I had paid to Blackstock Lumber Co. for the spruce spars!

Sometime in the 1960s I got ahold of Pete Bowers’ book Guide to Homebuilts and it inspired me to meet him at one of his EAA meetings. His book and the three issues of Mechanix Illustrated magazines with the Baby Ace plans have been my inspiration and connection to flying all these years. 

Then, along came life!

Fast forward a few years. I became seriously re-interested in homebuilts when I saw the Sky Pup and decided I could afford to build it. After a rough start, (wrong epoxy) I re-started it last October and as of March 6, it is about a third done.

But, I gotta learn to fly it! So, I finished ground school December 20, last year, four days after my 76th birthday and will start flying lessons this month!  I will fly soon and in my Pup early next year! Also, I joined EAA two or so years ago. I should have done that long ago.

Over the course of the last two decades, my passion and focus has been ornithopters. The intriguing element of ornithopters is the efficiency of the moving wing which creates forward motion and lift with very little (relative) power and doing it with total control at low speeds! I could not get the traction to get one built (and knowing curtain time is surely out there somewhere) so that’s the reason for the Sky Pup. I have identified a way to use an aeronautical force, totally overlooked for a hundred years, which would make human powered flight much more of a reality. I would like to gather some like-minded humans around me and build and fly one before c-time. Many people have ridden in airplanes, but I would like to be the first person to fly.

Sometime this month I’ll fly away, probably in a Cessna; they are good airplanes but honestly, I would rather fly in my Sky Pup or David Goerings’ Volksplane. It just sounds like more fun. And, some day I would like to really fly with my own power—just flap away like the hawks I watch out of my shop window almost every day.

I will fly away! If not some evening soon, then some glad morning!

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