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A HOG that flies

old man emu

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During the inter-war years homebuilders used a wide variety of automotive engines to power their aircraft. Ford Model A engines were popular. The Heath Parasol was powered by an Henderson motorcycle engine. Here's an example of a homebuilt prize winner powered by a 1927 Harley-Davidson engine.



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Scary the lack of aircraft knowledge, when wanting to fly it. Mag was turned on and he played with prop, I know there was no fresh fuel at that point, but still not safe practice.

still I really appreciate the aircraft for its history and that it has not been destroyed by time. Just don’t think it would be airworthy after all those years. It could still kill you from a dozen feet or so.

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Let me guess - his next move was, "Hold my beer and watch, as I fly this thing!"  :cheezy grin:


Just watching the centre Port side engine mount support, flex with the firewall (15:23 and 15:48), would be enough to make me run away screaming!  :freaked:


Edited by onetrack
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Don't forget that the airplane was designed in 1927 and took the designer three years to build it at home. How much was known by homebuilders in 1927 -30? 


In 1927, a young man by the name of Wilson Miller, from Oneida, NY designed this unique experimental mid-wing aircraft to the surprise of Aviator and engineers alike. Miller, who had studied airplanes since his was a young child, developed the machine as part of a "Modern Mechanics" LightPlane Contest while attending Oneide High School as a student. Given 1st prize in the international contest, Miller competed against aviators and designers from the United States and Canada, and was awarded a grand prize of $100 for both the completeness and originality of his designs.


Featuring a twenty-foot wingspan, a fuselage length of 14 feet, and a 50" wing cord, the machine is powered by a 1928 Harley-Davidson twin-cylinder engine, with which Miller replaced the original 1922 engine two years after its creation. Producing 18-20 horsepower, the engine has the ability to propel the machine to top speeds in excess of 75 mph, with cruising speeds in the area of 65 mph.


Millers design and expertise not only captured the attention of "Modern Mechanics", but of the entire airplane industry in the North-east United States. Literally dozens of newspaper and magazine articles also document the creation of the Miller Light Plane, and before the machine’s first flight, Miller even invited Col. Charles E. Lindbergh to pass judgement on its merits.


The machine took over three years for Miller to create, and was built from start to finish in the family garage. Featuring detachable wings, the machine was easily transportable to airfield in the Oneida area. Miller took the light plane for its initial flight during the summer of its completion, in 1927.


Wilson Miller went on to have a successful career in aviation, using his expertise in flying to acquire positions such as Assistant Manager of the Oneida Airfield, Oneida County Air Distributor,


Modern Mechanics was one of a large number of magazines published in the United States even up to the present. 


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The wing spar failure problem with the Puss Moth was eventually tracked down to wing flutter - a problem that was relatively unknown and poorly understood in 1930.


Bert Hinkler was another victim of a Puss Moth wing spar failure, he crashed in the Italian Alps when the wing fell off his Puss Moth.


The video below by Ted Fletcher is a good dissection of the Puss Moth problems. Basically, they had weak wing spars, but many were flown carefully, and never had any wing spar problems.



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