But what does it do for snake oil? According to
literature published by Magnetizer Group Incorporated, their
little gizmo increases the fuel efficiency of home heating furnaces
and engines by passing fuel through a magnetic field. "Following
exposure to a south pole magnetic field, the electron orbits
of the molecule are altered such that the net charge becomes
positive. Because the net charges of the hydrocarbon and oxygen
molecules are both negative, there are repulsive forces, not
attractive, forces present. When magnetized, the fuel's hydrocarbons
are ionized to exhibit a net positive charge. The change in charge
allows the fuel to aggressively attract and bond with available,
negatively charged, oxygen. This creates a more comprehensive
hydrocarbon molecule with its own oxygen supply. The end result
is a more efficient and fully burning, explosive mixture...."
The FAA Technical Center recently evaluated this
system on a Teledyne Continental 0-200 engine and -- guess what?
-- it doesn't make any difference.
|Watch for this
show in re-runs. [From TV Guide]: (A&E) "Living
Dangerously"; 60 min. A history of Italian aviation.
ATC Corp? In a fascinating editorial in the Wall
Street Journal, Robert H. Poole says "For safer skies,
privatize." He argues that "the best solution is to
spin off the air traffic control system as a user-funded corporation.
Outside the federal government, it would be outside the civil
service system, outside the federal procurement process, and-most
important-outside the federal budget process." There is
ample evidence that such a system would work well. In 1972, the
British converted their CAA into a self-supporting Crown corporation,
and its National Air Traffic Services division provides efficient
services to both civilian and military aircraft. Four years ago,
New Zealand corporatized its ATC system, and the user-funded
corporation shows a profit and is on the list of candidates for
privitization. And Switzerland has partially privitized its air
traffic control system, when SwissControl was spun off in 1988
with the major Swiss aviation interests becoming minority shareholders.
And the Association of European Airlines released a 1989 study
calling for the creation of a commercial company to take over
the management of a streamlined, continent-wide air traffic control
system. Says Poole, "We cannot afford to continue playing
bureaucratic games with the air traffic control system. Too many
lives are at stake."
performance analysis software has been evaluated by AzureSoft
and is now carried in their Flight Computing catalogue. The April
1991 Private Pilot calls Benchmark the "ultimate
in performance fine-tweaking."
Congratulations to Charles Gutzman whose Falco
won the Grand Champion Plans-Built at the 1990 North Central
|According to a
recent edition of CBS "60 Minutes", Saddam Hussein
and his family own 8.4% of Hachette, the French media giant that
publishes a broad list of magazines including Car & Driver, Road & Track and Flying. Hachette officials
deny that the Iraqis had any influence on their decision to launch
such new magazines as Desert & Tank, Not Flying, Foxhole Living and Iraq Today. Senator Alan Simpson
(R-at large -- Wyoming no longer claims him) has called for a congressional
hearing to look into charges that numerous Flying editors
are "Iraqi sympathizers" and points specifically to
the recent articles "Technicalities" (dealing with
cease-fire violations) by technical editor Tahir Tawfiq and "Jonathan
Livingston Scud" by executive editor Aziz Hollah.
Media Watch. "Best Homebuilts" in the
February issue of The Aviation Consumer rated the eight
best kit aircraft and says, "Overall, we'd rate the Falco
kit second only the the Christen Eagle in terms of completeness
and precision." We recently received a copy of the Número
25, Año III issue of the Spanish magazine Volar,
with spectacular photographs of Karl Hansen's Falco, including
the butt-nude Falco on the centerspread.
to the New York Times, the F-117 Stealth Fighter accounted
for 3% of the allied aircraft in the Persian Gulf war, yet it
hit 43% of the targets. And not one of the aircraft received
Out the window. We get all sorts of weird calls,
but the other day we heard from a guy on 14th Street in New York
who wanted to build the Falco in his 6th floor shop. The principal
requirement was that the plane fit through a three-foot by six-foot
window so the piano movers could extract the thing when it was
finished. A T-18 and a Volksplane had already made this trip,
and Eugene Baum wanted the Falco to be the next. And on the price
of the plans, he wanted to know if we had any discounts for 'a
fellow aviator'. Sadly not, said I, explaining that all our customers
were fellow aviators. Ah well, said Baum, "I had to ask.
just shipped some kits to Brian Nelson and Fannie Hendricks in
South Africa, and that enlightened government wants to slap a
25% duty on the seats because "they're not part of the airplane".
What are they supposed to do, kneel?
G. Washington is passé-Jackie Kennedy slept here. Watch the October TV listings for the NBC mini-series,
"A Woman Named Jackie", currently being filmed here
in Richmond and with Meredith Scott in a couple of bit parts.
They needed a house to be 'the Kennedy compound' in Hyannis,
and our Cape-Cod style house is it. So when you see Jackie wake
up and ask if "we won the election", that's our bed
she's in, and all the scenes of them watching the election returns
are at our house. As irony would have it, I've met the lady-years
ago when I had a summer job pumping gas at the Hyannis airport
-- and I always found her to be the nicest of the Kennedys.
|Sometimes it pays
to be over thirty. Special thanks Ben Owen at the EAA for pointing
out a little-known section of the FAR's that exempts Falcos from
having to use 12-inch letters. Section 45.22B applies to "small
U.S. registered aircraft for which an experimental certificate
has been issued for operation as an exhibition aircraft or as
an amateur-built aircraft and which has the same external configuration
as an aircraft built at least 30 years ago". The regulation
is intended to allow antique airplanes and replicas of antiques
to be operated in the original paint schemes. Thus the numbers
must be at least 2 inches high, and may even be on the fuselage
under the horizontal tail.
Forsaking all others... well kinda. What's
with the Italians and the curious "extra virgin" terminology
they use on olive-oil cans? Like, you know, what does it really mean, and does it apply to young Italian ladies as well
as salad oil? It sure sounds like the moral equivalent of a used-car
sign. Maybe it has something to do with the daughters of Mafia
dons, where you're not even supposed to ask.
to Charles Gutzman who walked away with Grand Champion Plans-Built
at Sun 'n Fun. Charles didn't know he had won until he got home
and received the certificate in the mail. He also got away before
any of the EAA photographers could get some good air-to-air shots
of the plane. They finally got together a couple of weeks ago
at Oshkosh for a photo session. The photo plane was a 182 which
they flew at 80 knots where the Falco is not happy. At the end
of the video session, Charles was supposed to do a little wing-waggle,
and on the second wing-up, the Falco went down -- Charles was
paying so much attention to flying formation that he didn't notice
that he was right on the edge of a stall. Anyway, it all made
for some interesting footage.
Trophy hunters. Congratulations to Charles Gutzman
who won Champion Plans-Built (that's third place) at Oshkosh.
And at the PFA Rally at Wroughton, England, Bjoern Eriksen won
the best kit-built aircraft award, and also Pilot magazine's Concours d'elegance award. Said Eriksen, "The response
to Falco LN-LCA was rather amazing, and I have a feeling that
we stole the show." No kidding, every Brit I've talked to
has been raving about Eriksen's Falco.
Mariano Facciolo of Italy gave a new meaning to the term "hot
mike" recently when he and his female "co-pilot"
joined the metric mile-high club. Italian officials have relieved
Facciolo of his license for practicing "dangerous maneuvers
and broadcasting his steamy exploits." Shocked tower controllers
listened to the moans and groans and at first thought someone
was in great pain. Just as they were preparing to declare an
emergency, they suddenly heard a woman's voice say, "Oh,
Mariano!" This episode continued for 45 minutes with the
aircraft on autopilot. The controllers said, "The sounds
went on for a long time, then we heard the man say, 'Oops, I
left the mike on. Sorry, honey.'" Yeah, right. It was 15
minutes before lover-boy Mariano came back on and requested permission
Earth to earth, dust to dust. At Oshkosh, Aviation
Consumer contributor Brent Silver stopped by for a chat.
He's an aviation safety consultant and the writer who wrote the
milestone whistle-blowing series about the inflight failures
of the V-tail Bonanzas. No lover of wood in aircraft construction,
Brent said he considered wood "an intermediate step between
dirt and dirt." Don't say we never warned you.
|Start your own
war. This airplane should get you an award for the most unusual
warbird. Stelio Frati's twin-turboprop Condor is for sale, sans
engines. The bubble-canopied twin was intended as a military
trainer, counter-insurgency (that's military jargon for strafing
citizens who don't like your dictatorship) and gunnery/rocket
practice. With rocket launchers and machine gun pods below the
wing, this little baby is great for settling property disputes
and personal vendettas-and it's much cheaper, more satisfying
and loads more fun than just using lawyers.
Media watch. Charles Gutzman's Falco made cover
of the September issue of Sport Aviation, and there's
a nice article about the plane inside. See the September issue
of England's Pilot magazine for Steve Wilkinson's "Building
a Falco, Part IV" with Bjoern Eriksen's Falco on the cover.
There's a wonderful article by Steve on moving the Falco to the
airport in the October issue of Air & Space magazine-which
incidently is becoming a terrific magazines, with articles by
some of the best writers in aviation today. And there was some
nice coverage of the Falco in the August issue of U.S. Aviator.
A recent issue of Interavia reports that Saberliner has
agreed to cooperate with Agusta to manufacture the SF.260E currently
being proposed to the USAF as a replacement for T-41s. See the
October issue of Air Progress for an article on the Promavia
|More on Jackie.
The filming of "A Woman Named Jackie" at our house
was exceptionally painless for me -- I was in Oshkosh. But Sara,
Kakee and Meredith had a real day of it, with nearly a hundred
people in our house and yard. Most of the scenes were at night,
so they covered up all the windows with black fabric and then
put spotlights behind them to get the right shade of night. And
that pastel portrait of Caroline is actually Sara Scott. Look
for Meredith Scott as one of the secretaries in the White House
press office when Jackie announces that Marilyn Monroe has died.
Watch the October NBC-TV listings for this B-rated mini-series
staring a soap queen as Jackie Kennedy.
Woodn't it be nice to have a 120-lb speedbrake?
Stelio Frati's F.22 Sprint has a 160 hp engine, constant-speed
prop, retractable gear, two seats, and is very similar in layout,
design and appearance to the Falco, except that the Sprint has
a longer tail arm and a swept tail. Empty weight is 1,332 lbs
and top speed 190 mph. Hmmm... maybe wood does have a few advantages.
and least-aerobatic Falco. While FlightSafety is tied up making
simulators for airliners and corporate jets, the Koreans, of
all people, have finally got it right. They're building a Falco
simulator at the Korea Aerospace Research Institute in Daejun,
Korea, using Falco kit parts for pretty much everything.
Phast Phalco? Marcel Morrien of the Netherlands
stopped by the other day on a vacation trip to the U.S. One problem
he's contemplating is the 'PH-' call-sign of his Falco, which
is coming along nicely. Marcel owns a drug store and is thinking
about PH-ARM, which is doubly cute because arm is Dutch for "poor".
Or what about PH-AST? Or PH-ALC. PH-UNN? Now don't get naughty.
|Media Watch. See
the December 1991 issue of The Aviation Consumer for an
article by Steve Wilkinson on owning, flying, and repairing the
Falco. Nice coverage of Bjoern Eriksen's Falco in the January
1991 issue of Kitplanes.
Lithuanian Q-Tips. "What's the stupidest thing
a pilot could do?" asked Jonas Dovydenas. Land with your
gear up? Yup. Seems Jonas was on a trip to Laconia, New Hampshire,
and had his mind on other things as he was shooting an approach
to a grass strip. Just as he was about to touch down he heard
a thumping sound, jerked it up and went around. On landing, he
found the tips curled slightly, so he flew it home, and it was
as smooth as ever. The prop shop was able to straighten the blades
and get him back in the air in short order.
Formation. My friends Chuck and Polly were driving along at 10,000'
in their Baron the other day, chatting on the intercom and reading
a trash magazine from the supermarket checkout counter. There
was an article by a guy who was a customer of the Florida housewife
hooker, who mentioned that he was surprised that the lady preferred
the 'missionary position'. "What's that?" asked Chuck,
and Polly said "Well, I think that's when the man's on the
top and the woman's on the bottom." "What's that you
said, Charlie X-Ray?" asked Boston Center, and someone else
chimed in with "That woke me up, too!" A couple of
minutes later, they got a call from Boston Center, "Baron
Ten Charlie X-Ray, you have opposite direction traffic at 12
o'clock and 11,500 -- another chance for you to be on the bottom."
Congratulations to John and Midge Oliver for winning
the Grand Champion-Custom Built award at the EAA East Coast Fly-In
at New Castle, Delaware, at the end of September. Midge reports,
"There was a red Marchetti parked across the aisle from
the Falco. Looked big and powerful, but it didn't win anything."
that's Italian is fast. Got a call the other day from a guy out
in Minneapolis who was buying a copy of Benchmark. He mentioned
he had a Waco Vela, which is the name used for the SIAI Marchetti
S.205/22R when it was imported some years ago. This is one of
the most forgettable airplanes imaginable, designed by SIAI Marchetti's
chief engineer, and it was the spectacular un-performance of
this most ordinary airplane that caused SIAI Marchetti to turn
to Stelio Frati. How bad was it? Well, the guy mentioned that
it's the only retractable-gear airplane he's flown that flies
the same speed with the gear up as with the gear down.
Ship-shape. Be glad you're not Hans Sonntag, Falco
builder in Germany. We shipped his spar kit by sea, in the usual
glued-screwed-and-stapled plywood crate. It went by sea, and
when it arrived in Hamburg, Dr. Sonntag reported that the crate
was essentially gone and that the spar had made the Atlantic
crossing on the open deck of the ship and was well-washed with
sea water. Amazingly, there was no damage to the spar nor any
missing pieces, but he nearly had a cardiac arrest when he saw
the spar for the first time. From now on, all shipments to Dr.
Sonntag go by air freight.
Steve's ear-up landing. Back in October, Susan Crandell called
to report that Steve Wilkinson had a six-hour operation on an
abcess in his ear, that he was in some hospital in NYC and would
be there for a week. Since he wasn't going to be phone-able for
a couple of days, I chased down the fax number for the nurse's
station on the floor and then sent a fax to a bunch of his writer
friends-all of whom have faxes and who quickly passed the word
around. Within minutes the fax machine at the hospital began
erupting with messages from all over the world, the most memorable
being from Flying photographer Russell Munson:
"Dear Steve, Can you 'ear me? I say, CAN YOU 'EAR ME?
They tell me you had an abacus in your ear, and it made you feel
bad. Well, what did you expect? Even a banana isn't comfortable,
but an abacus? Are you nuts? Did you think you would be able
to do calculus in your head? NEVER STICK ANYTHING FOREIGN IN
YOUR BODY. Now you know why, asshole. Don't expect any sympathy
from me. Your old pal, -- Russ"
This is what aviation is all about.