February, 2005

News from "The Front" Wherein our loyal Celerity and Marathon builders chronicle their progress, complete with photos I want this issue to be about projects, what you guys are building out there. I've asked for some updates from those of you who are "in the trenches," slaving away on a regular basis, and I got a good response. So here goes. Michael Toft of Edgewater, Maryland, writes:
The heart of Michael Toft's chain driven PSRU, with numerous parts removed for clarity.
Most of you who read these newsletters already know that Michael has chosen to use a Cadillac Northstar engine with a chain drive PSRU of his own design and manufacture, quite a project in and of itself!
Toft's PSRU, bolted on the business end of his Northstar engine
This certainly doesn't make his project easier, and time to completion is probably longer, but who else is going to have an airplane anywhere near the level of Michael Toft's Celerity when he is finished with it? I'm sorry, but I have to confess that I just love this setup! Plus, there is absolutely no better sound than that of a V8 engine winding up on an airplane. The V8 made automobiling great, and they have a lot to offer to us airplane builders also. Take a look at these photos and see if you agree! If what I have already seen in his photos is any indication of the quality of the rest of Michael's work, this should be a truly awesome airplane. Naturally there should be ample power for an excellent rate of climb and remarkable cruise performance from an engine that's generated excellent press ever since it was first introduced. With the well-known high speeds attainable using the Celerity airframe (more than 200 mph cruise on 160 hp with a constant speed prop) this one should be a real rocket ship!
Lawrence Hayter, Cobourg, Ontario
Another energetic builder is Larry Hayter, working around colder outdoor temperatures than many of us can even imagine.
David Christensen, Brigham, Utah
David has done a few things differently with his Celerity project. For example, Dave's Celerity will be a fixed gear taildragger with the main gear mounted onto the fuselage rather than the wing spar. Also, Dave will be using the same method of wing skin covering that Larry Burton used in the first Celerity prototype, rather than the current Oreo sandwich skin design.
Matt Rix, Lancaster, California
Andy Campbell, Sammamish, Washington
Some words of wisdom from Austin Underbakke and Gary Rene on plane finishes The late Larry Burton, Celerity designer and founder, used to say that you should apply your filler liberally because you're going to sand off about 95 per cent of it. Good advice from a master airplane builder! If I recall correctly Larry was also using AeroLite filler on his Celerity. I say, plan to spend many hours on your finish. That single representation of your craftsmanship is the first thing, and for many, the only thing, that they will see of your airplane. If you have a wavy finish with scratches showing through the finish or pinholes, you didn't spend enough time on it!