The Propeller under the Bed: A Personal History of Homebuilt Aircraft by Eileen A. BjorkmanThe Propeller under the Bed: A Personal History of Homebuilt Aircraft by Eileen A. Bjorkman

The Propeller under the Bed: A Personal History of Homebuilt Aircraft

byEileen A. Bjorkman

Hardcover | March 6, 2017

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On July 25, 2010, Arnold Ebneter flew across the country in a plane he designed and built himself, setting an aviation world record for aircraft of its class. He was eighty-two at the time and the flight represented the culmination of a dream he?d cultivated since his childhood in the 1930s.

Eileen Bjorkman ? herself a pilot and aeronautical engineer ? frames her father?s journey from teenage airplane enthusiast to Air Force pilot and Boeing engineer in the context of the rise, near extermination, and ongoing interest in homebuilt aircraft in the United States. She gives us a glimpse into life growing up in a ?flying family? with two pilots for parents, a family plane named Charlie, and quite literally, a propeller under her parents? bed.

From early airplane designs serialized in magazines to the annual Oshkosh Fly-in where you can see experimental aircraft on display, Bjorkman offers a personal take on the history of building something in your garage that you can actually (and legally) fly as well as how the homebuilt aircraft movement has contributed to aviation and innovation in America.

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Eileen Bjorkman is a writer, pilot, and retired U.S. Air Force flight test engineer.
Title:The Propeller under the Bed: A Personal History of Homebuilt AircraftFormat:HardcoverDimensions:224 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.98 inPublished:March 6, 2017Publisher:UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON PRESSLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0295741449

ISBN - 13:9780295741444

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From the Author

On July 25, 2010, Eileen Bjorkman's 82-year-old father, Arnold Ebneter, took off from Paine Field in Everett, Washington, to set an aviation world record in an airplane he designed himself and built in his garage in Woodinville, Washington. The 2,300-mile non-stop flight took the retired Air Force pilot and Boeing engineer eighteen hours, but the preparation took fifty years. A curiosity and aviation sideshow at one time, homebuilt aircraft now make up about one in five small, privately-owned aircraft in the United States. With contributions that include fabric covering systems, sturdy landing gears, and affordable avionics, homebuilt aircraft are a small but ever-growing part of aviation's DNA.Bjorkman uses her background as a pilot, would-be homebuilder, and aeronautical engineer to intertwine the century-long history and culture of homebuilt aircraft in the United States with Ebneter's fifty-year struggle to build his airplane. Along the way lay tales of derring-do pioneers and their fragile craft that could barely become airborne to visionaries that kept homebuilding freedoms alive in the 1940s and modern homebuilts that rival and even surpass the performance and quality of factory-built aircraft.In addition to the narrative, the book provides a non-technical window into the world of aircraft design and construction: What's involved in designing an airplane? How do you assemble a kit airplane? How have airplane designs evolved? Why would anyone want to build an airplane, instead of just buying one? The book may also be useful as a supplementary text for a first class in aircraft design.

Table of Contents

1. The Flight2. The Pilot?s Rock 3. Death Knell 4. Sprouting Wings5. Foundations 6. The Dream Begins 7. Stagnation 8. Holding Pattern 9. Young Aviation Turks 10. Colleen?s Cub 11. Doldrums 12. Seeping in Seattle 13. Where?s Dad? Epilogue

Editorial Reviews

A wonderfully compelling book. The Propeller under the Bed makes a large contribution to the aviation community.

- W. Scott Olsen, author of Never Land: Adventures, Wonder, and One World Record in a Very Small Plane