Saturday, July 13, 2019

Prowler Spring (Pre-AirVenture) Update

Hey Everyone,

Well, summer is getting into full swing and AirVenture is just around the corner.  But, I wanted to take a few minutes to recap the Prowler related news, happenings and other stuff that's gone on since the last blog update in April.  I personally have not gotten much accomplished with Prowler this spring.  I just have too many domestic things happening right now, not the least of which is the last 2 daughters are leaving the house (and the country) soon for college and a Rotary Exchange.  But, I do have a fair amount of Prowler related news from several of the builders and owners to share with you.  Here is what I have:

Prowler items in this update:
1.  Ray Has Moved out of "Commie-fornia" 
2.  Bryan Has Purchased Kit #4
3.  Francis has completed paperwork for French FAA
4.  Bud's Prowler is For Sale
5.  Steve Has Donated His Prowler To A Museum

Before I get started on the blog update, I wanted to share something pretty interesting with you.  This spring, we had really strange, large, cyclonic storm pass over our area.  Here are a couple pics that I took:

While you can sort-of see the cyclonic movement of this storm from these pictures, you really needed to be standing under it watching the whole storm spin to get the full effect.  Then, my daughter found a video (with some time-lapse footage) that was made by a young guy in her class that makes drone videos.  Check this out:
That was a very crazy storm!  Nice job on the video, Landon!!

On with the update.......

1.  Ray Has Moved out of "Commie-fornia" -  In my last update I reported that Ray had stopped by the shop on one of his trips to haul his Prowler and his hangar "stuff" up to the Bend, OR area.  Well, recently he and his wife packed up what was left in the house and they made the final move up to Bend.  Here is the email that he sent out to announce the move:
This will be the final communiqué from this outpost.  The southern border has now been overrun and the troops are rapidly infiltrating the local area.  I suspect the fifth column may begin to activate for the final push. Also noted are more frequent intrusions along the coast, possibly probing operations to locate more weak spots for the final moves.

We will be evacuating this location in the next few hours and will re-establish communications when we have located a more secure location to operate from.  There will be no further transmissions…
Later, I got this email with the subject line "Return To Reality" and this announcement from the new "outpost":
The great escape is over.  The return to reality occurred on 10 Jun 2019 @2004Z as I crossed the line in the lead vehicle.  The high speed recce vehicle was close behind to complete the relocation convoy.  A previous secret load had been pre-positioned with all the industrial tools and supplies and is still hidden in a secret location.

With great difficulty communications have been re-established and the location can now be revealed.   [Street Address removed].  Map coordinates are still classified to prevent targeting the exact location by previous enemy officials.

Contact #  XXX-XXX-XXXX. This # is classified and not available from any other source.
So, there you have it.  Ray has really escaped from Commie-fornia.  I'm hoping to get invited to visit the new outpost sometime soon.  I'll have to make sure that I'm not followed by any previous enemy officials.  I'll make a report with pics when I return.  Thanks for the updates, Ray.  Congratulations on your escape from CA.

2.  Bryan has purchased Kit #4 -  Kit #4 was originally purchased by a gentleman named Lee Guiff from Indiana.  Lee stuck with George and made payments on the 2nd half of his kit cost and eventually ended up with a mostly complete kit.  Unfortunately, Lee passed away recently and his wife began looking for a way to dispose of this kit.  I mentioned this to Bryan in one of our conversations.  He became interested and eventually negotiated a deal with Lee's wife.  Here is a pic from his trip to pick up Kit #4:
 Here is a write up of the transaction that Bryan sent to me recently:
You had mentioned Kit #4 being possible for sale.  After the conversation life went on as usual and I had not given this opportunity a second thought. Then one morning out of the blue I had a distinct prompting that I should call and inquire about the status of their progress in reselling their kit. As it turns out not much had transpired since your initial consultation with them since the component pieces were uncrated and shelved in different locations in a barn on the family farm.

After much communication on the subject we reached an understanding and I realized that it was time to borrow a trailer and head north to personally inspect the remnants of Kit #4. As an aside, the original purchaser was introduced to George in the early days of Auto Aviation when George was building F85 engines for other aircraft builders. When the decision was made to transition into building an airframe for the F85 engine, George put together the prototype Prowler.   After the decision was made to make Prowler kits, the well known Red White and Blue Jaguar (production) version came to be.

That was when Lee made the decision to acquire a position in the kit delivery schedule and kit #4 was assigned. As with all the other initial purchasers component delivery was an issue and diluted the initial enthusiasm associated with the purchase. Eventually a majority of pieces found their way to complement the collection of parts and kit #4 was pretty much complete (but without cowling and engine).  Like other builders at the time work was started on the horizontal stab but not much happened after that. As delays were hampering delivery of components almost six years transpired before an engine arrived, then - there it sat for the last twenty-four years.

Rolling back the barn doors I immediately began recognizing items that looked all too familiar (from my experience constructing my own kit #7).  Remarkably the majority of parts were in good shape so we transitioned into conversing about perceived value and subsequent liabilities of transferring ownership.  With those issues settled we loaded up my trailer, reminisced a bit and with smiles all around I became the new caretaker of a collection of salvaged parts.  In all, this was a good thing for me as I needed quite a few component pieces to assist me in final assembly of my airframe.  Some of the remaining parts will also go to supplement other builders who may need items.
Since then, Bryan has begun to process all of his new "stuff" and one of his first orders of business is to sell the engine that he also bought from Lee's family.  Here are a few pics:

This engine is for sale.  If you are interested, please contact me and I will put you in touch with Bryan.  If you get to AirVenture this year, you can see this on display!!

Update: 9/12/19 - The engine has been sold.

3.  Francis has completed paperwork for French FAA - I recently got an email from Francis that contained a document in French.  Here is what Francis sent me:

Sent: 6/15/2019 9:40:52 AM
Subject: Fwd: 2ème relecture
Hello Todd,
Some news of "dossier de calcul".
Asked by OSAC (French FAA)(they broke my bollocks!)😄🙄😵
I asked Francis if this report was good, if the Prowler passed the test with the "French FAA"??  Apparently, he doesn't know yet. His answer was:
I dont know, but this allows the visit of OSAC to close the spar!
But, I do not know when, the French bureaucrats are very slow!
Hopefully, it will happen soon!!  Here is the first page of the report that Francis made for the OSAC:
If anyone knows a french speaking mathematician that can translate this, please let me know.  Thanks for the update Francis!  I hope the inspection gets completed soon!

4.  Bud's Prowler is For Sale - Bud has placed his Prowler For Sale.  I created a blog page for him to use to send information to interested folks.  See it here:

5.  Steve Has Donated His Prowler To A Museum - I recently emailed Steve to check on the status of selling his Prowler.  Here is what Steve sent back to me:
Thanks, Todd!  I wound up donating it to the Port Townsend Aero Museum at Jefferson County airport in Port Townsend.  They picked it up a couple of weeks ago.  They’re expanding their museum and envision it hanging in a new building they are preparing to build, gear up and banked; but in the meantime they say they want to fly it.  They know they need to swap out the PRSU drive gear and fix the two or three squawks I had from my last flights; we’ll see if they can do it.  I’m working on a liability waiver now.  I think it will be cool when its all said and done.  I told them about you; you might give them a call in case they ever want to consult with you.
So, the PT Aero Museum may seek some help to get the plane in the condition that they want.  I also told Steve that I'd try to put together some kind of tribute to George that could be placed with his airplane.  I'll keep you informed as I pursue that.

Well, that does it for the Prowler update for this time.  While I haven't been doing a lot of Prowler work myself, I have still been busy.  The following paragraphs outline some of what has been going on with me this spring.


Dad's RV Mess
- Dad has an RV that he stays in when he is up at his sawmill during the summer.  When my folks head for Phoenix each winter, dad puts his RV under a roof that he build many years ago to dry his fresh cut lumber under.  This past winter, there was a lot of cold, wet, snow that piled up nearly 4 feet deep on the roof of this shelter.  Well, it could not handle that size load and roof and trusses came down onto his RV.  It did a lot of damage.  I had a stretch of 5 days off at the beginning of May and went home to WI help him get this mess cleaned up.  Here is what it looked like on the day we started:
Here is the "pile" about 6 hours later after we got the sheathing off and the 1st couple trusses removed:
Yeah, at 81 years old, that's dad up on the roof of the RV!  About noon on the 2nd day, we exposed the truss that crashed down onto the RV air conditioner and shoved it down through the roof.  Ugh!!
This is what was left to do on the last day - just take down the last section of sheathing and trusses:
In the end, we got the entire roof removed and got the RV jacked back up to level so that the landing gear could be removed:
The weight of all that snow coming down onto the RV caused the pins in the landing gear to shear off.  That allowed the landing gear legs to shove up through the bedroom floor and tore the hell out of the bed and the bump-out gear.  Since then, dad has gotten the landing gear fixed and re-installed.  Then, he moved the RV off of the slab.  After AirVenture this year, I'm going to hang around and help him get the bedroom put back together and get it closer to livable again.

Graduations -  So, this spring 2 of our 3 daughters had graduations.  First, in mid May, our oldest daughter, Kayla, graduated from the University of Montana - Western:
Congratulations, Kayla!!!  Woo-hoo!!  She actually graduated in Dec '18, but the University does not have a  mid-year commencement ceremony.  So, this was her graduation ceremony.  Here are all our daughters at Kayla's graduation:
Kayla has since been hired by the State of Montana Department of Agriculture as a poultry and meat inspector.  She is off to a great start and she is loving her 1st job!

Then, in early June, our youngest daughter, Crysta, was honored as the valedictorian of her class:
And, a week later, here is a picture from her HS commencement ceremony:
Great job, kid!!!  Soon, she will leave for 10 months on a Rotary International Exchange to Brazil.  On the other end of academic spectrum, our middle daughter, Alexandra (on the right above), has accepted a 3-year partial scholarship to Jacobs University in Bremen, Germany.  She'll be leaving in Aug this year.  She previously completed a 10 month youth exchange to Germany during her junior year in high school.  She has become very proficient and fluent in German, however the university teaches classes in English.  So, she'll getting a lot of bi-lingual experience for the next several years.  Congratulations on the scholarship, Alex!  Excellent job!!

FIRE! - A few weeks ago, I was out in the shop and heard a helicopter come over very low.  It was a CalFire helo and it was landing in the creek bottom behind our house.  I ran up the steps to the shop office and saw a lot of smoke coming from that way!

I jumped in the truck and headed towards the fire.  When I got to the to the other side of the creek, I saw this:
Within minutes, the helo had dipped in a nearby reservoir and made it's first pass:

Thankfully, CalFire got the fire contained and put out very quickly.  Good thing, because the wind was blowing pretty strong out of the north that day, and my property was straight downwind!!  After the devastating Carr and Camp Fires last year, this was a bit of a scare!  Hopefully, this will be all for fires this summer!!

Shop Painting -  It's been 10 years since I build my shop.  It has needed a new paint job for a few years and this year it had to get done.  I hired my nephew to help me get this done.  In fact, Garrison did the majority of the painting work.  Here's a picture of him reaching the high spots.  As you might expect, my sister was not exactly all that excited with this picture:
Yeah, that's the ladder on top of the tractor canopy!  In the end, Garrison did a great job.  And, my steps to the office got painted for the first time, EVER!
There was one place that needed painting that Garrison couldn't get to since he had to head back home.  And, this area needed some special attention.  So, I handled it myself on some recent days off:
This wall needed special attention because it is a south facing wall.  This wall gets the very worst of sun in the summer and driving rain in the winter.  In fact, the first thing I had to do was find several leaks and patch them (I had rain water getting into the shop this past spring!).
It took about 3 days to get the leaks located and patched, then put 2 good thick coats of paint on everything.  It's great to have the shop sealed back up and looking good again.  Thanks for your help, Garrison!

EAA Chapter 157 Father's Day Pancake Breakfast - This spring, I was volunteering at the local EAA chapter's pancake breakfast (I was mixing the pancake batter - it was the only job I was qualified for since it involved a power tool!!).  At one point, the girls came to wish me a happy Father's Day and handed me an envelop.  It had a ticket in it for a ride in a T-6 Texan!!  That's the plane in the background, and me with the girls together when I got back from the flight: 
As we walked out to the plane, I explained to the pilot that my daily driver was an Airbus A320.  He said, "Well, that's no fun!"  So, I assured him that he could have as much fun and he wanted on this ride.  Needless to say, my flight included some "unusual attitude" flying.  Ha!  Thanks, Ladies!!   That was a great Father's Day gift!

Well, since that day, I've been working the day job nearly non-stop so that I could get my hours in early in July for the company and then be off  for all of the week of AirVenture.  If you can make it to OSH this year, it's going to be a great year!  It's the 50th anniversary of AirVenture at it's "new" home in OSH.  I'll try to get another blog update in after AirVenture.  I hope you all have a great summer!!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Bud's Prowler is FOR SALE


Prowler N12BT

Bud has decided to sell his Prowler airplane.  Here are a few recent photos:

Here are a few more details:

=> The Airworthiness Certificate was issued in 2010
=> The airplane is at the Apopka Airport, FL (X04)
=> Currently 114 hrs on the airframe and engine
=> Asking $80K USD

Here are a few older pics I have of Bud's Prowler:

 Here are a few videos that I have of Bud's airplane:

An engine start-up:

A takeoff roll:

A couple of in flight videos:

If you are interested in getting in contact with Bud, please send me an email to the feedback link located here: