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Great Lakes

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Well-Known Member
Sep 6, 2006
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Heya Y'all,
In my best Paula Deen. This reply is in responce as to why the Great Lakes is not being built in any numbers.
17 years ago I ordered a set of Great Lakes drawings from Havey Swack. Really like this plane, so does Nancy. The factory drawings are great even being produced in 1929-1932. Show every little detail and mesurements. Problem being this is a high parts count airplane. The wing compression fitting are like none other that I have ever seen. The way the engineers designed the wing it will flex ever so much. The compression tubes go into a cone shape fitting the sits in a socket on the spar. Thus alowing some flex. Many parts to get the job done.
I have the center section started, a few fuesl*ge fitting done. Need to have a metal lathe to make parts for this bird. Harvey suggested making the landing gear struts from PT-19 or is it 22 modified struts. I would rather make the factory struts shown in the drawings. Though I need to find a shop that can handle such work $$$ This project plane has taken the back burner till I have time to devote to it. Can I say retirement. Steen Aero has the design rights now. When I bought the Skybolt plans I asked them about if they were going to produce any parts for the Great Lakes. Their answer is, not right now.
Nancy and I have a friend in Spruce Creek who purchased a Great Lakes in California. He flew the plane cross country taking the southern route. Took a week of flying every day to get the plane home to Florida. Mark would call to give me updates of his travels. His complaint was the two and half hour fuel tank. At 109mph not going anywhere fast in this mount. Then land for more fuel. At least he saw the landscape from 1500 feet agl rather than the FL410 he's use to.
When Nancy and I visited Mark at his place Nancy got her first biplane ride. She loved it in spite of the high winds. Wonderful plane, but sure is labor intentive. Erich

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