The mighty Murphy Moose, sporting a Pratt & Whitney PT6A on the nose, threatened to snort right through our August 2008 cover. The airplane, built by sailboat racer Rick Orchard, rode on Aerocet amphib floats. Doug Rozendaal’s report included this backstory. “Orchard’s previous seaplane was a BushHawk on Aerocet 3400A amphibs. Flying into the outback of British Columbia with his floatplane buddies, Orchard and his BushHawk, because of its size, hauled the gear. Orchard’s friends in their Super Cubs would drop into little lakes where the bigger and heavier BushHawk couldn’t get out. ‘I lusted for a turbine Beaver, the dream airplane for a bush guy,’ Orchard said. ‘When you research the market, there isn’t much else out there to build (in that class) except the CompAir, and I wanted to build a metal airplane.’”
Doug’s review continued with a flight. “I fly my share of high-performance airplanes, and I know what to expect when turning 550 horses loose on an airplane that weighs around 3600 pounds. Even with that expectation, the result was a treat. The airplane accelerates quickly, and soon we were ready to rotate. We made the short flight up to Lake Agnes at the Fantasy of Flight Museum, which served as the seaplane base for Sun ’n Fun. There was a light chop on the water, and I slowed to 75 knots on final, checked the gear up for water and put the flaps down. The airplane went on the water as smooth as silk, with just a touch of power.”
In his opening editorial, then (and current) Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook noted the sale of Velocity to the Rocket Racing League. He talked with Ken Baker at Velocity about the transaction. “The Velocity, like a lot of homebuilts, is based on artisan craftsmanship—one airplane built and then molds taken off that. Rocket Racing is going to bring in a whole laser scanning crew so we can digitize the airplane, render it in 3-D. That will help us create new documentation and develop future models from CAD.” Ultimately, Duane Swing, who was looking to retire back in 2008, purchased the company back from Rocket in 2010.
Bob Fritz had an article in this issue about shop organization (proving that many of our topics are evergreen). “The first project…should be a really organized shop. I don’t mean just putting tools away, though that’s important, but rather having an efficiently arranged shop. Without that, you’re just emulating Sisyphus, that poor schmo who the Greek gods condemned to rolling a boulder to the top of a mountain only to find it back at the bottom each morning. A one-car garage is eminently workable. In fact, it can be easier than a two-car garage if you have to share it with a car. With a one-car garage you get, assuming the car is outside, all the walls. In a two-car garage with one car inside, you’ll have one wall fairly inaccessible.”
Stein Bruch’s All About Avionics installment took up the topic of steam gauges and concluded this way: “The line between standard round gauges and newer generation instruments is becoming cloudier every day. Even the airlines that always used to have gyro driven ‘peanut’ sized backups are moving toward small graphically displayed instruments. At airshows this summer we will see new instruments from gyro manufacturers that are approaching what would almost qualify as an EFIS, but mounted in a conventional circular hole. Engine instruments are also quickly becoming more advanced and modern, combining multiple functions into single ‘smart’ instruments. There is no reason to be afraid of this new technology.” And he was right.
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