Wednesday, February 25, 2015

P85 V8 Conversion Nomination

Title for the mod: P85 V8 Aircraft
Who did the mod: Jeff Ackland
Suggested category of mod: Design, Build, Test
What airplane the mod was done to: P85 N273MP
Date the mod was completed: First Flight 12/17/2014. Phase I testing now complete. 18 month build period.
Author of nomination: Jeff Ackland
Description of the mod: The P85 is the result of installing a liquid cooled V8 power plant on a Radial Rocket airframe.
Why this mod should be considered: The primary goal of the P85 design/build effort has been to demonstrate a powerful, high performance, simple and extremely economical (in terms of acquisition and operating economy) power-plant option for the proven Radial Rocket airframe. The result is distinctive enough to merit a new name: P85. Power is delivered by a 400 cid / 400 hp GM LS V8 engine. Initial performance numbers point to a top speed at 7500 ft of 280-290 mph. Simplicity is achieved  via use of fixed landing gear, fixed pitch prop and electronic fuel injection resulting in single power lever engine operation. Economy of acquisition and operation is derived from the selection and use of high quality, mass produce LS engine architecture along with a readily available and low cost re-drive/Catto fixed pitch prop combination. Firewall forward cost (engine, ECU, ignition, cooling system, exhaust, re-drive, and prop = approximately $20-23K. Further economy is conferred by this engine set-up, designed to operate on 91 octane pump gas. 

P85 videos:

Photo attached (let me know if you need more, or you can grab them from our website?)


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

LT-1: UL Edition Nomination

Title: LT-1: UL Edition 
Experimenter:  Andy Chiavetta
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: LT-1 SN:002
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  The LT-1 was designed and built by the force of energy that is Andy Chiavetta of Aerochia.  The airplane is a small, clean, single seat carbon fiber aircraft, that really stands out in the market place.  The combination of very small and very aerodynamically clean is not a bustling corner of the market.  Andy adds to the strengths of the airplane by leveraging his long history of building with composites to make the airplane particularly easy to build.  The airplane was debuted with a first flight video that was posted in 2010 (link).  I flew the airplane a few months ago (link) and I found what both other pilots to ever fly the airplane found; it is responsive and well behaved, requires very little power to fly, and the weakest link is the engine.  Andy has threatened to fix this for a while, but he is a busy guy so the idea has had to sit on the back shelf.  Over the last month or so that has changed.  Andy has started posting images of the second airframe, and even better of a new engine on that airframe.  We are all excited to see if the UL is the powerplant that can help get the design to market, so we can all enjoy seeing them darkening the skies.



Monday, February 23, 2015

Meredith Scoop Nomination

Roy's RV-6 Photo By Ross, from

Title: Meredith Scoop
Experimenter:  Ross Farham
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: C-GYZX
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  I first was introduced to Ross when I read his article in the March 2015 Kitplanes on this project.  I really enjoyed his willingness to be aggressively inquisitive in public because he worked in designing something, building it, and measuring it.  The concept of Meredith effect has been mentioned at so many airshows by now it is cliche and boring.  But the idea that a guy could try it, could dip his toe into the water and see what is actually there, wow that is something.  Ross has no problem questioning the status quo and his article openly challenges designs that are held on the highest of pedestal's (like the mustang and the spitfire), but the fact that he built his own hardware, measured it and shared it with the world is the kind of thing that keeps me excited about playing with airplanes.  The article and a related thread on which Ross explains some more of the details of the project are linked below, go build something!

Kitplanes Article: The Meredith Effect - Fact or Fiction?
Watercooling Thread on




Saturday, February 21, 2015

Kevin Eldredge Update

Hey Guys,

I just got this update from Kevin Eldredge on his recent work on STOL aircraft up in Alaska.

What a cool project!!

Airplanes are cool,

From Kevin:

(Photos below) This is the first customer for the R409. This airframe is the baddest Cub I have ever seen. Josh Pepperd (Paur's wired article) has already landed shorter than any cub with this SQ12 in Valdez  with the Superior 400. He broke the 400 crank a few months ago and had just put another one on when he heard my tech.  This is the first of 6 such owners between Alaska and Wyoming that are lined up to get the same sweet engine. The 400 is an angle valve engine that produced around 215hp at 2700 rpm. The R409 dropped about 24 lbs and made over 230hp and 470lbs of torque!!! This should be a very significant improvement on a STOL airframe that weighs in at 1165lbs.......

(Photos below) This will go on another very special CUB in Maine. This plane will be at many competitions this year for landing and take-off.  I didn't mention that all these will be ready for NOS!!!

Mike Patey Turbine Legacy Update

Hey Guys,

Check out this update from Mike Patey on the Turbulence (turbine/lancair) project.

Not that we needed more evidence...but Mike is a machine.

Airplanes are cool,

From Mike:
34 hours non sleep.

A couple of rotating buddies trading off helping and it's now complete. Thanks to two extra great friends and 528,265 or so, give or take, very needed Diet Cokes, the engine is mounted. It is down and right within a couple hundredths of a degree of desired torque correction angle.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Guinea Pig Nomination

Photo from:
Title: Flite Test Guinea Pig
Experimenter:  Peter Sripol
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: Guinea Pig
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  Peter Sripol, AKA Foam and Tape, may build RC but he is an experimenter through and through.  I met Peter at 2013 E-Fest event in Champaign Illinois.  The event was fantastic and more than I expected.  There were the company representatives from Horizon and Hobbico aggressively demonstrating their companies new products in one corner, there were the 3d Aerobatic types in another corner, in the third corner were the stick and tissue scale model guys...and then there was Peter.  He and his partner in crime Sam Foskul as well as Peter's younger brother Steven had brought this huge pile of mostly crashed RC airplanes.  They spent the weekend building airplanes and crashing them and building them over on this epic scale right in front of the grandstands.  The crowd at once loved it and didnt really know what to do with it, and it was awesome.  A favorite moment was when one of the stick and tissue guys got his model stuck in the rafters and Peter and Sam went up after it with FPV quad-copters, for a moment all the cliques got what Peter was doing, and utility from an RC holy smokes!

Anyway in the last year or so Peter has been picked up by the website Flite Test.  Flite Test is an awesome website by a couple of guys that have figured out how to make a business out of their hobby experimenting with RC.  In recent years the show has gotten lots of popularity and has become a portal for new modelers to the sport.  Peter's creativity and passion for the hobby has breathed new life into the show.  The best example is the Guinea Pig, named such because it is a platform to try stuff.  Say you want to drop a smaller airplane, or try jato bottles, or or or, this is the airplane for the job.  Jenn and I are super pumped that Peter has found an organization that appreciates his talents and look forward to see what kind of things his work inspires in this next generation of experimenters.

Left to right: Sam Foskul, Peter Sripol, Steven Sripol, Elliot Seguin
At E-Fest 2013 in Champaign Illinois, Photo: Jenn Whaley
Photo from:
Photo from:
Photo from:
Photo from:

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Quadnickel IF1 Speedmods Nomination

Jay on the course Photo: Robert Shellabarger

Title: Quadnickel IF1 Speedmods
Experimenters:  Jay Jones
Category: Design/Build/Test
Aircraft: Quadnickel Race 45
Author: Elliot Seguin

Argument:  Jay Jones is a long time racer in the Formula class at the Reno National Championship Air Races.  Jay is passionate about the sport and has gone to great lengths to share the sport with others.  Since Reno Jay has been busy tearing into his racer to ready it for the upcoming AirRace1 international race series.  His posted mods include a 4-into-1 exhaust and associated new cowl, a CFD study of his wing, a new submerged tailwheel assembly, and he appears to be in the process of repainting the airplane.  What's even better is he keeps his friends and family up to date on all the cool work that he is doing via his FB team page.