There isn’t a dearth of innovative and creative homemade stuff around the globe with geeky lot amazing us with their unique creations. Now, how about an 84-year old grandfather from Renton building a motorcycle engine powered airplane from a bathtub? Downright cool and innovative I must say. Ed Kusmierk, veteran of 39 years at Boeing’s manufacturing engineering organization who worked at high-end research (non-production division) wanted to make a precise replica of the Dormoy Bathtub, a 1924 super-light-weight vintage airplane. With high hopes of finally flying his bathtub airplane after approval from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and tinkering to the final make, Ed’s hard work for so many years is going to pay-off.
With seven years put into the making of the airframe using salvaged bits and pieces from homemade parts or once bought from hardware store, this is one DIY project that anyone would be proud of. Wheels for airplane were taken from a dirt bike, spokes of bicycle functioned as tension wires and the wheel hubs and engine cover are made from saucepan lids. For the axle suspension bungee cord from rowing machine was used and the flexible hose from his sleep-apnea machine works perfectly as the protection for cables used.
Other things like the mechanical airspeed indicator and fuel gauge for five-gallon gas tank were invented by the man himself. According to Ed the cockpit is fit for a pilot not more than six feet tall and the aircraft is not that pilot-friendly, but hey the thing flies that’s cool enough I think. If things go as planned we could see the Bathtub airplane fly off next week with a few cosmetic tweaks to be completed at the Enumclaw Airport, where it is currently parked.
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