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DaveDABQ
 Post subject: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Found this in a 1979 issue of Sport Aviation. Was registered as N23GA. Looks kinda familiar...


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Bill Williams
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 3:55 pm 
Last time I saw it was Rapid City,SD 10 years ago??


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James Grahn
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sat Oct 27, 2018 8:04 pm 
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Forgot about that one.
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jrevens
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 1:36 am 
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Yep, you're right Bill... it was up there for awhile... when we had the Thorp fly-ins there.

I watched this airplane being built by Gale Ables, a friend and architect in Boulder, Colorado. He flew it quite a bit, then when he passed away "Green Apples" (GA), as he called it, was sold to another friend - Richard Brandiger in Rapid City, S.D. Richard had built a couple of other T-18s as I recall. He flew it for a bit, then disassembled it make some modifications after an "incident" (hard landing? I don't remember for sure) and it sat for years like that until Richard passed away and it was sold again. I haven't seen or heard anything about it since then.

The airplane is a modified Thorp of course, with the v-tail and a longer tapered wing with a thin airfoil. The fuselage and cowl is all Thorp, with the exception of the tail and control mechanism. It had a 180 hp O-360 and constant speed prop. It was pretty fast, but really no faster than the fastest T-18s. Gail was a very accomplished sailplane pilot, and he wanted to "improve" the Thorp with some of the features he had experience with on sailplanes. The modifications were designed by him, and being an architect he made some beautiful drawings to accompany the Thorp blue prints.

I miss both of those guys... would sure like to know where the airplane is now.

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John Evens
Arvada, Colorado

T-18 N71JE (sold)
Kitfox 7 SS N27JE


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stevehawley
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 5:16 am 
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Once upon a time, many years ago, I was visiting my good friend Dean Cochran in Brookfield, Colorado and spent the night with him. As I recall, I had flown my T-18 up from Aberdeen Mississippi. He took me over to his friends house who was building a T-18 but was making several improvements (changes) in the design. I remember it had a V tail and tapered outer wing panels. Several years later Dean and I agreed to meet in Mason City, Iowa on our way to Oshkosh. The V tailed T-18 came with him and we flew on from Mason City. The plane was a little faster but not my much.

In two more days, on Oct 29, I will have been flying my T-18 for 39 years!! I hope to keep flying for some time, Lord willing. I now have about 1,500 hours on it. Have three other planes so do not fly it as much as I should.

Steve Hawley
N9008Z


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DaveDABQ
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 10:00 am 
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Thanks guys for filling in some blanks. Love hearing first person info.
Did this plane have folding wings?

Also wondering if there was anything in the newsletters about it. (The link to the newsletters goes to a blank page now)


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jrevens
 Post subject: Re: Interesting Pic`
PostPosted: Sun Oct 28, 2018 11:48 am 
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DaveDABQ wrote:
Thanks guys for filling in some blanks. Love hearing first person info.
Did this plane have folding wings?

Also wondering if there was anything in the newsletters about it. (The link to the newsletters goes to a blank page now)



No folding wings. Another quick memory came to mind - I was there when Gail test flew the airplane. He removed the seat cushion and wore a chute. I remember thinking that there was no way in heck he was gonna’ get out of that airplane in time, in the air if he had to. He Had pretty long legs, like I do, and he was bigger.

Speaking of Dean, Steve, I think he was the only other one who ever flew that airplane (soon after Gail died) until it went to it’s new owner.

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John Evens
Arvada, Colorado

T-18 N71JE (sold)
Kitfox 7 SS N27JE


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