February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: http://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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H o m e b uil d e r 's C or n e r Barn Finds Discovering hidden treasures By Chad Jensen There is a ton of them out there. One-offs and designs that just didn't become popular. I recently found myself in a barn in central Illinois where there was not one but two of these lesser-known types of experimental airplanes. Oddly enough, both of them were called Termites, though they were completely different. One of them was a Smitty's Termite (or Smith Special or Smith Termite), designed and built by Wilbur Smith in the 1950s after he built a Pietenpol Sky Scout in 1930. It's a single-place parasol and looks very similar to the Sky Scout. It was powered by a Kawasaki engine of unknown horsepower. The other, simply called a Termite, was a single-place biplane, powered by a very rare Lycoming O-145. As I pored over these two barn finds, I couldn't help but wish that it was me who had found them, but I was with the gentleman who did. He is a pilot, but he was unsure of what the airplanes were or what they were worth. in central Illinois for so many years, what else is out there right under our noses? Now, don't go rooting through every barn you see just to check out what may be hiding inside, but if you know of an airplane hanging out in a barn or some other shed, show it to me! I'll post them on the Homebuilders HQ Facebook page…this could be interesting! Zenith Video Update Below you'll see the latest video update on the Zenith project that EAA staff has been busily working on. Our twiceweekly sessions have turned out a complete empennage, and by the time you read this, the wings will be nearly complete while we stare down the plans and instructions for the fuselage. The goal is still Memorial Day weekend for a first flight, and with the continued help of dedicated staff builders, this has a certain chance of becoming reality! That's a really tough question, and not one I need to answer here, but what I am really curious about is what else is out there? You see, I lived not 10 miles from this particular barn for 12 years prior to coming to EAA, and I had no clue these two aircraft were around. No one did, really. At least, no one ever said anything about them. So if these two airplanes have been in that barn for many, many years, even being flown up until the early 2000s, and I was unaware of them, having lived and breathed aviation On the cover: Bob Barrows fies his Bearhawk LSA for EAA's cameras. (Photography by Phil High) 2 Vol.2 N o.2 / Febr uary 20 13

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