January 2014

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/247918

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Page 26 of 38

Over the years, FRED's design was tweaked as new features were added. The original removable wings were upgraded to quick-folding ones to facilitate solo rigging and trailering home on its own wheels with an addition of a towing hitch and frame. The angular all-moving rudder was joined by a more curvaceous mode, and then some 30 years later, a fixed vertical fin option was added because, in Eric's words, "In my old age I wanted FRED to be less lively in rough air." Most FREDs still use the all-moving rudders. Eric even added a small cockpit access door to make entry and exit easier for aging legs. Eric's original FRED is still airworthy but not flown much anymore. Eric is now in his eighties, and getting in and out of the open cockpit is not easy even with the access door. Eric is hoping to see FRED go to a museum or private collection, ideally in the United Kingdom, while Eric plans to continue flying his beautifully restored Luscombe as long as he can. It's hard to say exactly how many FREDs have taken wing. About 25 appear on the British civil register and as many more on the inactive list; two are flying and at least one more is undergoing restoration in New Zealand; and at least one was completed in the United States in addition to Eric's own imported prototype. Something between 60 and 70 probably have been completed worldwide. The newest appears to be Greg and Dianne Shepherd's G-BWAP, which first flew on October 5, 2013, just a few weeks before FRED's 50th anniversary, which perhaps makes G-BWAP the official 50th anniversary FRED. At the other end of the spectrum, Abraham Leket of Israel is making great strides on a new FRED project that was begun in October 2013 and documented in a detailed build log on HomebuiltAirplanes.com. Abraham says, "Looking at those $20,000 to $50,000 proj- Evan Belworthy's ZK-FRD ready to take off from his home field in Cust, New Zealand, for a commemorative FRED 50th anniversary flight on November 3, 2013. Photography by Evan Belworthy EAA Experimenter 27

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