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The Brazos Breeze

EAA Chapter 983 Newsletter July 2001

Mailing Address: EAA Chapter 983, P.O. Box 903, Granbury, TX. 76049

New Saturday Speaker! 96 year old Captain John Miller
- Super Barnstormer   -Pioneer autogyro pilot Pitcairn and Kellet
- Test pilot in Grumman J-2F   -Airline Capt. on Boeing 247, DC-2, 3, 4, 6 and 8.

Dave Boldenow is our Vice Pres. In charge of programs. Saturday, July 14th, Dave was the program. Dave and his father built a Vari-eze powered by a C-90 Continental in 2-1/2 years (short!). They flew it 1200 hours and donated the airframe to the North Dakotas Air Museum. This activity sparked Dave's interest in Aero engineering & was also responsible for his first two jobs after graduation.

Dave Boldenow

Dave then joined Scaled Composites in 1985. Dave's first program was the Special Military Utility Transport or SMUT. (OK,OK with the jokes guys). SMUT was a 62% scale version with two PT-6-135 turbo-prop engines.The full scale SMUT mission would have been to rescue hostages as was the case during the crisis in Iran when Carter was President. The other program was WIMPY or wing improvement program. (What's in a name?) The goal of that program was to double the endurance of an RPV (Remotely Piloted Vehicle) designed by Israeli Aircraft industries, and still in use today. The program had a $10,000/Lb. weight reduction incentive and since it came in 5 Lbs under ~ $50,000. The last program was the EDGE wing program, a replacement wing for the Stevens Acro, (The wood wings on the Stevens were having spar cracking problems.) The composite wing was about 20 Lbs lighter and designed for +/- 20 g's The wing is still used on the current Zivko Edge 540 aircraft. ~ (Thanks Dave for a very interesting talk)

Boeing 307 from 30's

Vimy from the rear

Oshkosh was great as usual. The Warbirds seemed to be depleted somewhat. They still put on one great show with the "Wall of Fire" and the great sounds of radials and 12 Cylinder. Rolls Royces. I understand that the fly-market is down a bit; due I guess, to all the kits being built which do not need parts scrounging. Three things struck me as out of the ordinary. The Shell AT-6 acrobatic team was superb. The "6" is not easy to fly in good close formation and they were close and smooth. Also, the one and only remaining Boeing 307 was on display as restored by dedicated Boeing folks. This late 30's transport featured a B-17 wing and engines with the worlds first pressurized fuselage. The 307 did not fly fast, but the height of luxury was sleeping in a real berth as you cruised across the land! The third item was the Vickers Vimy which made a number of flights.

Don Saint in Airventure Cup Parking

Dick & Debbie with two fast birds




Upholstered Seats!

E-a-s-y with that crowbar Bill!

Bill Steppling's new project (Rans S-7 Courier) arrived right on time at 1:00 PM on July 27th. He didn't lack for physical and supervisory help in unloading the crate. By 2:00, Bill was busy using a crow bar to inspect his new baby. The first thing unearthed was a seat. (already upholstered!) The kit It is very complete with all parts labeled. (Insert tab A into slot B...) We expect an update from Bill at the next meeting.

Unload Crew





AirVenture Today

Saturday, July 28, 2001

Keyt Speeds to record at AirVenture

by Kim Rosenlof
It's unofficial, but Dick Keyt and his crew are celebrating anyway after besting the previous 500 Km record for his aircraft weight by nearly five minutes. The Granbury, Texas, pilot performed the record-breaking flight on Thursday afternoon during the air show, flying from the Oshkosh VOR to Monticello Airport in Iowa and back in 70 minutes and three seconds at an average speed of 307 MPH. "I knew that I had to cover the course at an average ground speed of 250 knots or better," Keyt said. "I never saw less than 260 knots in the whole course, so by the time I got back to the Oshkosh VOR, I knew I had made it.   
Although this is Keyt's first record attempt, he is no stranger to pursuing speed. A racer in the Kitty Hawk to Oshkosh AirVenture Cup for at least three years, he won the Copperstate Dash air race in October 2000, and he also won this year's Formula RG class race held earlier this week. It was at the Copperstate Dash that Keyt bent his treasured go-fast airplane, the Polen Special, on a spectacular one-gear-down landing at the end of the race. Keyt wasn't hurt, but his winning aircraft was, and he had to repair it before entering the Kitty Hawk to Oshkosh race or attempting the record. The newly restored Polen Special had not flown between that dark Friday the 13th in October until last Sunday."We hadn't started working on it. until January," Keyt admitted. "But what really put us behind was that we didn't get the new engine until July 6th. Then while installing the new engine we found bad engine mounts, then cracked spars on the elevator, and finally a second cracked spinner. It seemed like every 'rock' we turned over revealed another pit of snakes."

Keyt is a 767 captain for American Airlines, based out of Dallas, but also holds an airframe and powerplant (A&P) certificate. Still, he did not do the repairs on the Polen by himself. Said Keyt, "at least a dozen people helped over the last few months, and if even a single one weren't there we wouldn't be here."

Keyt's preparations for the record attempt began last October, shortly after the Copperstate Dash crash. Keyt called Eric Whyte, founder and chairman of the AirVenture Cup race, and asked for EAA's assistance in completing the record attempt.
"Everyone's been very supportive of this record attempt including the staff of EAA," said Whyte. "I took care of the logistics on this end: the arrangements for the weighing of the aircraft on the certified scales at Kermit Weeks and contacting Chicago Center (air traffic control) for advance clearances and flight following during the record attempt. Chicago Center was helpful and cooperative."

Chicago Center played a large role in the record attempt. The National Aeronautic Association (NAA) the certifier of flight records in the United States, requires that the aircraft fly the record course within 100 Meters of assigned altitudes. Chicago Center not only cleared the airspace so Keyt and his Polen would have a direct flight from Oshkosh to Monticello, but it also recorded the evidence in the form of radar printouts to verify Keyt's position and altitude during the entire flight. The record will not be official until the NAA receives and reviews the copies of the radar printouts and other paperwork verification of the flight sometime next week.

Keyt says that he had thought his next attempt would be the 1,000 km record for the 1,100 to 2,200-pound aircraft class, but based on Thursday's flight the Polen Special wouldn't have the fuel Capacity to make the trip at high speed."We have an intermittent fuel problem at high altitudes," said Keyt. The record attempt was made at 18,000 feet outbound to Monticello and 21,000 feet inbound to Oshkosh. "I had to keep the fuel boost on the entire flight."

The Polen Special was built for speed by Dennis Polen Of Portland, Ore. A one-of-a-kind monoplane judged Reserve Grand Champion Homebuilt at the 1976 EAA convention at Oshkosh. The single-seat Polen Special has a 180 hp engine with a range of 1,230 miles at a normal cruising speed of approximately 250 mph.


1. Stu Hill has graduated from the ranks of student pilot and is a newly minted Private pilot courtesy of Tom Woodward. Congratulations Stu! Tom is working with a son of Stuart's to get him the same rating.
2. I am impressed with the 99s newsletter, "Outer Marker" by Karen Bloom of Burleson. Wow! 6 pages of neat stuff with color photos and contributions by Debbie Keyt, Karen Jensen, Bonnie Lewis and others. The 99s painted the Compass Rose at Granbury and will host the pancake breakfast there on Oct. 27 with a FAA Wings program. Way to go gals!
3. Dave Boldenow informs me that Lycoming has an AD on the oil pumps. Both the aluminum and sintered iron jobs must be replaced with carbonized iron. And here I thought only Continental had AD'itis!
4. Thanks to Tom Woodward who suggested the "Brazos Breeze" as the masthead for this newsletter. It has a nice alliterative sound.
5. Marvin & Karen Jensen have officially moved in to their new "digs" at 5501 Flag Stick. They are going through the usual move problems. (Decisions, decisions!)
6. Bill and Debbie Scanlan have started work on the tail surfaces for their RV-7 kit.


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