Welcome to my Radial Engined Skybolt blog. aka Zen and the Art of Building a Radial Engined Biplane
Working on the sheet metal skins, upper wing center section,
and everything else...
Thanks for dropping by to checkout my Skybolt blog. This
site, just like my biplane, is a work in progress.
My original geocities site was created back
in September 2004. I think that was before they called these
blogs. Back then it was my "South Jersey Skybolt"
site. In keeping up with the latest terms of the super information
highway I'm now calling it a blog.
definition: Blog is short for builder's log. Catchy, eh?
For everyone else Blog is short for weblog. A weblog is a
journal that is frequently updated and intended for general
public consumption. Blogs generally represent the personality
of the author or the Web site.)
You'll notice that I can get long-winded at times. I'm not like that in person unless you get me talking
about airplanes and flying. Otherwise I'm concise and to the point, almost
to a fault. Well... I am talking about airplanes and flying here, so you'll see quite a few long-winded thoughts.
I've decided to create this blog to document the building of,
what I feel, the best homebuilt biplane out there, LaMar
Steen's Skybolt. Stop by every so often to see how far I've
progressed with the building of it.
I've been pretty persistant in my quest to
build this biplane. It's been years and I still keep coming
back to it. Each time determined to finish it. I still haven't
given up and I don't plan on it either. Once I decide to do
something I don't stop until it's finished, no matter how
long it takes.
The FAA established the Amature Built category of aircraft
as an educational experience for the builder. I've just begun
to climb the hill of learning to build an experimental plane.
I've made many great friends along the way and plan to make
many more before I complete the project. I hope to pass along
some of the knowledge that I have gained through this experience.
I hope to inspire others to start building too.
If you are thinking of building, do yourself a favor and join
EAA and one of their local chapters. There are a lot of people
that have knowledge about aircraft building and are happy
to pass it along to you. Don't relearn what they already know.
blog isn't just for my refererence, I'm writing this for anyone
out there wanting to build their first plane. It isn't easy
but it is doable. I have never undertaken a project of this
size before. But it's more than just documenting my hours
and how to perform a certain task. It's my thoughts. It's
my history and how I got to this point. It's written by the
common guy. I've had to work hard to get where I am with flying....
nothing on a silver platter.
If you're thinking about building your own
flying machine, start today. If you don't, years from now
you'll be kicking yourself saying that you could have been
flying it by now if you had only.... And once you get the
bug, many of the builders out there have built several planes.
Each one a little easier and a little quicker to build.
Thanks again for stopping by and the best
with your project, whether it be a Skybolt, Midget Mustang,
Pietenpol, Wittman Tailwind, RV or...
I seem to be getting a lot of builders hitting the site looking for Tailwind information. GREAT plane, I'm just
not building one right now. Go to my Links page by clicking here to see a few sites
that I've linked to for the Tailwind.
Jerry Oct. '06
A Brief History of the Skybolt
In 1968, Lamar Steen wanted to design an easy to build, high-performance two-place aerobatic biplane that larger pilots could easily fit into. The resulting design is the beautiful Skybolt.
was a shop teacher in Denver, Colorado. In August of 1969,
his class began construction, and in October of the following
year the prototype flew for the first time, Total cost of
the first Skybolt was $5000, including the 180 hp engine.
Cruise with the 180 hp engine was 130 mph,
with a stall speed of 55 mph.
Lamar began taking it to all the airshows.
It was so popular that he began to sell plans and some of
the parts. more
The Man in the Arena
"It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood,
who strives valiantly . . . who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while
daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who have never known neither victory nor defeat."