So Long, Turbo Tom


We have some tragic news to report-in late January, powerplant guru and KITPLANES contributor Turbo Tom Wyatt was killed in a traffic accident near Atlanta. Turbo Tom introduced himself to KITPLANES readers in 2001 when he wrote a three-part series that chronicled the process of converting a Subaru EJ22 for use on an RV-4. The success of that series led to another, How Piston Engines Make Power, which ended just a few months ago with the publication of Part 8 in the December 2004 issue.


Turbo Tom had an exceptional ability to convey highly technical subject matter in an easy-to-digest format. We received countless comments on his piston engines series from readers who were enlightened by his straightforward explanations.


And Tom truly embodied the spirit of homebuilding-he had a genuine love for sport aviation, glider flying, airplane building and engine tweaking. He was an excellent writer and performed a worthwhile service in helping other homebuilders understand the concepts that came so naturally to him.


Anyone who knew Tom and would like to honor him can do so by contributing to an online guestbook. Toms obituary is posted on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s web site at Click February 5 on the calendar images, scroll down to “Tom Wyatt,” and you’ll see his obituary. There is a link to “View/Sign Guest Book,” and Tom’s family has asked that anyone interested place messages in the guest book.


At the time of his death, Turbo Tom was in the midst of another airplane project-an RV-8 with a planned Franklin engine-and hed proposed a number of upcoming articles to further enlighten our readers. On the pages of KITPLANES and in the hearts of those who knew him, Turbo Tom will be missed.


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