DEC 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: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/434207

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Page 17 of 44

18 Vol.3 No.12 / December 2014 KEEPING UP A FAMILY TRADITION IT'S HARD TO BELIEVE that EAA is more than 60 years old and that we're seeing second- and third-generation homebuilders following in the footsteps of parents who built airplanes. To the average person on the street, building an airplane sounds preposterous, but to someone who grew up with an airplane in his family's garage, it sounds perfectly normal. Doesn't everyone have an airplane in his garage? Randy Weselmann of Bainbridge, Indiana, would say, "Yeah, we had an airplane in the garage, so why not build one myself ?" Randy's dad was an aeronautical engineer who worked for General Electric and Boeing, among others. However, in the early 1960s he decided to set up his own airplane factory and bought the plans for a Thorp T-18. Being small, Randy was the of cial crawl-inside-the-fuselage-bucking-bar holder. He said, "I don't know where the urge to work with my hands came from, but certainly watching and then help- ing my father take flat sheets of metal and turn them into an airplane had a lot to do with it. It must be in my DNA because the urge bit me early. I started on my A&P license while still in high school and eventually went to work with United Airlines in their sheet metal and machine shops. I wanted to build an airplane, but I wasn't making enough money to go the normal homebuilt route. So I built a Mitch- ell B -10 flying wing ultralight." It would be easy for another homebuilder to look down on the concept of building an ultralight, but Randy has the last laugh. "I have put over 400 hours on it and have gone through three engines. I still have it but haven't flown it for a while because of the Beryl." The Piel Beryl caught his eye because he liked "the Spitfi re look" that the wing had. Also, the advertisements for it said Photography by Tyson V. Rininger The cowling is a Randy Weselmann original, since the plans didn't address the cowling in detail. The Beryl was Claude Piel's aerobatic version of his better known, side-by-side design, the Emeraude.

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