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EAA Chapter 309’s Motto - Build, Learn, Socialize, Have Fun
By John Wigney, EAA 448965
June 30, 2016 - EAA Chapter 309 holds build meetings every Tuesday night at Lake Norman Airpark (14A) near Mooresville, North Carolina. At the moment, there are three active projects: a ULF-1 microlight glider, a Cozy Mk.IV, and a Van’s RV-9 which is a chapter-owned project. For several years, one of our enthusiastic participants has been a local high school student, Damon Reddy, who graduated in June 2016. Reddy is a student member of the chapter and we have been able to sponsor him for the 2015 Oshkosh Air Academy and a recent Aeroelectric seminar weekend. At one of the chapter monthly dinner meetings following the Oshkosh trip, Reddy gave a very polished presentation of his experiences.
Recently, Reddy was able to enlist the help of several chapter members for an ambitious high school senior year project to build a jet engine! After some development work, fabrication of a combustion chamber with pipework, and using propane fuel with a repurposed Volvo turbocharger for the compressor and turbine, Damon ran the engine safely and successfully; it was able to develop 4.4 pounds of thrust.
Reddy is planning to embark on an aviation career starting with an airline pilot course at a local flight school in Concord, North Carolina, and, to mark his enthusiasm and participation, his friends in the chapter passed the hat around to purchase an ICOM handheld aviation radio for a graduation present. The radio was presented by Chapter President Holliday Obrecht at a party held after the most recent Tuesday night build session.
We wish him well.