Challenge: What’s-it?


You can find dang near anything at a fly-in (with vendors) the size of Sun ‘n Fun. For instance there is an aircraft surplus outfit located just out the front door of building B that seems to collect surplus parts, instruments, random components, and tools and bring them in boxes for folks to paw through to find that “just right” piece of nostalgia. While I was there today, they were on the phone with what sounded like someone from Emergency Aircraft Repair, comparing part numbers on a couple of alternators they had on a table. My suspicion is that someone came into Lakeland with a dead alternator, and there was a search going on for a replacement.

Some of the boxes contain real “puzzlements”, as Mark Twain used to call them. Take this strange gear that was covered in waxy plastic preservative (we carved of half of it for the picture). They had a dozen of them or so, but had no idea what they might be. Our best guess around the Kitplanes dinner table is that maybe it is some sort of accessory drive gear. It’s got what looks like a part number stamped on one end ”EA82034” just in case anyone is frantically searching for one that they need. Let us know if it looks familiar, and if you need one, we can hook you up.

Hope that guy found the right alternator…

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


  1. I think it is a starter dog for a DH Gipsy engine, probably Chipmunk originally, but also fits many other types. I don’t have the starter parts book with me to check the part numbers.


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