That Looks Familiar


Quite a few years ago (long before I moved out of Texas), we used to go visit long-time “Ask the DAR” author Mel Asberry at his private runway northeast of Dallas. Asberry, a man whose expertise, experience, and status greatly outpaces his “stature” named his runway “Shortstop”, which describes both the length of the nicely-prepared strip and Mel‘s height – but don’t sell him short! Several years before we started visiting, he began building a Murphy biplane kit, but made a number a of modifications to change the proportions to fit himself and his wife—and it was beautifully built.

Unfortunately, the project stalled—maybe because he was spending all his time doing E/AB inspections, now having performed over 1,000—and we heard a while back that he had finally sold it so that someone else could enjoy completing it. Lo and behold, it was at AirVenture this year, on display at the Myers Aviation booth. They are completing it for a customer, but re-engining it with a radial power plant, and adding wood framing to make it look more like a Waco when finished.

The best part of seeing it finally getting to the finish line is that if you look close at the spar of the lower wing, it was signed by Mel and his wife Ann before it left the shop—a legacy project that will carry their names into the future!

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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.


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